AN: The hardest challenge of writing an AU story is that the farther you slip away from the story, the more you risk altering the characters too much. After all if the characters have the same motivations, beliefs, and sensibilities the author intended, then the alternate universe might not exist! Although I often dream up ideas for AU stories, I don't often write them down and complete them for this very reason. The events of Jane Eyre happen the way they happen because Jane is who she is.
Despite all of that, some AU ideas are just too irresistible not to follow through to the end. I hope this story stays true enough for any of my fellow Eyre-heads.
I also want to apologize in advance for any other types of offense this story might cause. I always do my best to work as clean as I can in the context of the story I am trying to create. Still, there are times when I find a little sex can flesh out (no pun intended) a story as it conveys deep emotions and difficult situations. I wrote this story as cleanly as I could, and it is far from raunchy or explicit, but still, there is sex there, and I want to warn anyone who would take offense before they started reading. I wanted to capture Jane's emotions "in the moment" and not as an afterthought. Please note that the first chapter is as explicit as it gets and the story contains no more scenes like it.
"For you have neither relatives nor acquaintances whom you need fear to offend by living with me."
Those words rang in my ears. How easy it would be to comply. How miserable he would be should I leave him. No one in the world cared for me. I still had a chance to be happy with the one person who loved me completely.
Before my conscience had a chance to protest, it seemed that Mr. Rochester had read my thoughts. He knew me too well not to recognize the look of compliance in my eyes. He approached me and gently folded me in his arms. I knew I should resist, but it seemed that I was losing my resolve in the pleasure of being held by him again. I had resisted him enough that evening and it seemed my strength to continue to do so had left me.
"Jane," he said as he lifted my face to look into my eyes, "You are the wife of my heart. You are the only person I want to spend my days with. There is no human convention that should ever keep us apart. You know it to be true Jane. Why should we care about the laws of man when you know that God must sanction our love? Stay with me Jane. We shall make a life together as we were meant to."
His words, which should have seemed nonsensical to me, felt so true. I knew I wanted nothing more than to be with him for the rest of my life. He bent to kiss me and I did not resist. Conscience had overcome passion once, but now passion was demanding her due. I let his kiss overwhelm me. All resolve to leave him was gone. This was what I wanted. This was what I craved. I would stay with Mr. Rochester. I would stay with him from life till death.
His caresses became more urgent. Soon I felt him take me up in his arms once more, and carry me back up the stairs. I felt delirious, as if my body did not belong to me. I was barely aware of where he was taking me. I made no protest as he carried me to his chamber, shut the door behind him, and laid me on his bed.
Engulfed by passion I felt nothing but the pleasure of Edward's touch (he could be nothing but Edward to me now). Everything he did was a new and thrilling experience for me. I would know passion. I would know love.
It was only when he began to perform the most intimate of acts that the spell was broken. A pain shot through my body. I cried out instinctively. I looked at Mr. Rochester's face. He was looking in my direction, but seemed to be looking through me, as if I were not there. He was whispering my name and gentle words of love, but seemed not to notice my cries, or the pained look on my face. For a moment his face contorted and his body shuddered. I feared for him not knowing what had happened, but he then rolled off of me and attempted to pull me close.
"Jane, my darling. How I have dreamed so long for this day. I love you."
His words brought me little comfort. I began to sob uncontrollably. "What have I done?" I cried.
He tried to embrace and soothe me. "Did I hurt you Jane? I'm so sorry. I tried to be gentle. I promise after tonight it won't hurt anymore."
I could not - would not- return his embrace. I lay stiffly against him, continuing to feel the shame. "What have I done?" I asked again and again.
"Shh...Jane. You are my wife now - truly my wife. You have done nothing wrong. Don't cry, my love."
I continued to sob and keep my back turned to him. I reached for a coverlet to cover the shame of my nakedness. Seeing as I could not be consoled, Mr. Rochester left the bed and dressed himself. I would not look at him. He seemed to sense I needed to be left alone and left the room.
As soon as he was gone I dressed myself quickly. I felt almost sickened by the site of my clothes lying untidily on the floor. I put them on and ran to my own chamber. I lay on my bed and cried until I fell asleep.