Warnings: Set in 1850s, HAU/Historical Romance, M/M sex, angst, a little humor, OOC, varying chapter lengths. Vague, brief references to: underage sex (consensual), het sex, BDSM (mild), Sub/Dom, prostitution. Original characters.
Pairing: 100% S/X (With brief, vague mentions of heterosexual/homosexual relationships with others .)
Ubeta'd All freerange boo, boos are mine and should be left unmolested
Status COMPLETED. Posted daily.
Link to previous chapters HERE
Comments: Comment if you want to, though it would be nice to know someone is reading it and will encourage a sequel.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything belongs to someone who is not me. I write for fun not profit.
Additional Warning:This is a LONG, SLOW moving fic. Feelings/relationships develop gradually. Sexual situations happen throughout. I have tried to be historically accurate but I do not profess to be a historian, I have knowingly messed with some dates. At this time Homosexuality carried the Death Penalty, here it is viewed as a mere eccentricity.
Note 1: Although Sunnydale character names have been used they are NOT in their Sunnydale persona's. William Rochester= A version of Spike NOT human William as in BTVS.
Note 2: My heartfelt thanks go out to my dear friend Bmblbee, for pre-reading the story and her encouragement. *Hugs*
Summary: Alexander Harris is orphaned at the age of six. He is sent to live with his wealthy but uncaring aunt Anya Jenkins in Gateshead and his three cruel cousins. Aged eight he is sent away to Lowood School For Boys and endures life there for ten miserable years, eight as a student and two as an assistant teacher. At last aged eighteen he is free to leave and secures employment at Thornfield as Tutor to the bright, temperamental and eccentric Drusilla and meets The Master of Thornfield, the handsome, aloof, passionate, possibly dangerous and mysterious William Rochester.
Rating: NC17 Overall
Rating: NC17 Overall
Love, Love changes everything:
For a moment Xander was stunned by Willow's words, he stood rooted to the spot and swayed slightly. He'd known Mr. Rochester was leaving for the party of course, but had somehow assumed that he would be going tomorrow morning, not today and had harbored secret hopes of spending another evening in his company. The shock must have shown in his face. Willow frowned. "Why Mr. Harris are you quite well?"
Xander mentally shook himself. "What? Yes thank you I'm quite well." He patted Pilot's head. "For some reason, I had it in my mind that The Master was to go tomorrow," he said as casually as possible.
Willow nodded. "So did we all," she agreed. "but The Master came in from the stable with a face like thunder, told Daniel to fetch the Dog Cart and load up his trunk, he was leaving right away."
Xander's misery was complete, he had done something wrong, obviously he had not reacted to the kiss as he was supposed to. Had he reacted too much, or too little? Should he have protested and made a fuss? Perhaps he should have pushed Mr Rochester away?
Xander nodded, there it was then 'face like thunder', he'd annoyed his Master and not being able to look at him he had left early for The Hall.
He had driven is Master away.
He could only think it was the kiss or else the disagreement over the riding clothes, certainly learning to ride lost what little appeal it had, and he earnestly wished it had never been mentioned.
Thinking on it, he concluded it was more likely the kiss, but Mr. Rochester had instigated that, not he and to push him away would have seemed churlish, especially when it was not as if his Master was hurting him. Xander couldn't see how he was supposed react differently. He sighed, aware that Willow was looking at him intently. "Why has Pilot been left?" He asked.
Willlow huffed. "Lord Lindsey doesn't like him and neither him nor Mr. O'Conner will have dogs in the house, so Master chained him here. " She saw the concerned look on Xander's face. "Don't you worry none, Dan will bring him indoors at night."
Xander looked at the forlorn hound. "Do you think he would bide with me?"
Willow shrugged. " 'Tis certain he has taken a liking to you Sir, we're just afraid he runs off. Master doesn't say much but he's attached to him, and if he was to get lost......" She shook her head. Xander looked thoughtful, that the dog was missing his Master as much as Xander already was, touched him, they were kindred spirits that might find comfort in each other's company. "Has he a leash?" Willow nodded. "Aye Sir, Master don't use it, but Dan puts it on him if The Master's away, and he has charge of him."
"Do you think I may have it? It pains me to see him so distressed, and I would keep him with me, he can stay in my room." Xander explained. Willow looked a little doubtful but took the leather leash from behind the door. "Very well Sir, but you'll have to take responsibility if ought happens." Xander nodded. "I will."
Xander had expected Pilot once released from his chain, to lunge away in an attempt to search for Rochester, but he didn't. The hound followed easily on a loose leash at Xander's side, as they past the door to his Master's rooms Pilot hesitated and looked up at the door and gave a whine. Xander patted his head. "He'll return soon," and then coaxed the dog to pass the door and entered his room. He slipped the leash and Pilot settled on the rug by the bed, his head resting on giant paws.
Xander's mind was in turmoil, between the kiss and Rochester's anger he didn't know what to think and then there were his own disquieting feelings. He felt almost bereaved, he'd known The Master such a short time and yet it was somehow worse that he was to be gone from him for a few days, than leaving Wes and Fred had been. That thought had him reaching in his pocket for the letter, reading it would occupy his mind. He settled on the window seat, opened the letter and, setting Fred's aside to read second and was soon absorbed in the news from Lowood.
The first part was general chit chat about the weather, news of various people Xander knew and assurances that both Wes and Fred were well and in good spirits. Then it went on at length about Wes's medical studies and gave, what was for Xander, a rather too vivid description of a dissection Wes had attended. For the first time Wes mentioned that once qualified as a doctor, he had thoughts of going abroad to combine his medical skills with missionary work. Xander had suspected for some time that Wes might be considering this course, but was shocked and saddened to see it so plainly set before him. He would greatly miss his friend, it was selfish, he knew, and he had left them to start a new life, but knowing they were always there was a great source of comfort and reassurance to him.
The last part of the letter made Xander's smile. Lowood had it seemed, a new Vicar. The Reverend Graham Miller was a young, unattached man of progressive thought, good disposition, kind nature, good humor and was eager and willing to work amongst the poor and needy of the district. In short he had Wes's approval, also it seemed he had caught Fred's eye and she his. They had embarked on a number of projects to bring help to those who needed it and Wes had noticed a certain glint in Fred's eye not apparent before. Xander went on to read Fred's letter and was not surprised to find it full of references to Reverend Miller, his good humor, kindness, unstinting hard work, open minded and progressive thinking, generosity of spirit and a vivid description of his physical appearance, which if Fred was to be believed, put him in the Adonis category of men.
Fred, it seemed, was definitely smitten.
Xander was smiling as he finished reading and for a time his mind was relieved of its turmoil. It set him thinking about his own letter laid unfinished on the bureau. Normally, he would post the letter on Tuesday but, supposing Mr. Rochester were back and his good temper restored? He would be expected at the stables, he resolved therefore to occupy himself finishing his letter and walk into Millcote tomorrow and post it, there being no lessons at the weekend. It would occupy him and although the letter might not actually go until Monday, he would be confident in the knowledge that it was on its way.
He sat at the bureau and read through his letter and was at once struck by how similar his description of Mr Rochester was to that of Fred's Reverend Miller. The same enthusiastic, breathless language, glowing praises and exaggerated attributes, was that it then? Was it possible?
For the first time Xander opened his mind to the realization that he was smitten with this employer. It was by turn wonderful and joyous, terrible and tragic.