Title: Love or Pride
Genre: AU/ Romance
Pairings. Jack /Ianto, (and others)
Summary: Ianto Jones in an aristocrat who’s betrayed by his fiancée, Lisa. There enters industrialist Jack Harkness. Is what he asks something the young lord can give? Or isn’t?
Torchwood- Copyright BBC. This Fanfiction has been created for enjoyment and is not for profit. Vaguely based on the book Le Maître de forges by Georges Ohmet
UnBeta-ed, so all mistakes are mine.
Love or pride
It was a clear morning of September of 1866, and a man in his mid thirties, dressed in blue linen blouse, a pair of high boots, and an old hat was sitting in the outskirts of a still bright, green forest. In this place of the world, no matter the time or the weather, the nature remained fresh and green. A big white wolf hound was stretched just a few steps away from his master. He kept looking at the man as if wondering about the time of their leave.
The hunter was not ready to start the ramble just yet though. He had left his gun leaning against a tree while he was enjoying the magnificent view. His chin resting on his hands, he wondered how he had managed to live without this clear fresh air for so long. Wales was his place despite his long time absence.
His eyes roamed the village clearly seen in the horizon as he let the sun warm his back. Brecon Beacons was a wonderful place to live and, after his years in America where he had been caught in the civil war, this was pure heaven.
In the other side of the road in between the tall trees he could see the village. Glynneath was situated on the River Neath in the county borough of Neath Port Talbo and the hunter was trying to see the old Church behind the houses in the place he knew it was. It was when he had last seen him.
He sighed and his eye was caught by the wild waters of Neath. Everything was quiet and only the sound of the water running was heard which helped his daydreaming. He edged close to a tree and he rested his back on it, thinking of blue eyes. The feeling of contentment he was not familiar previously to that meeting kept returning each time his mind went back to that day.
Suddenly a cold nose nudged his knee and brought him back to reality. Two brown eyes looked up at him asking for the favour to be given freely to him.
‘Ah…’ said the man to his dog petting his soft fur. ‘You’re tired of this, aren’t you, Fawny? Come on then, time to go, stop being impatient.’ He got up with a sigh while his dog was running around him waving his tail. He took his game-bag, hanging it on his side; he took his shotgun and crossed the road to the other side, stepping over a a narrow ditch following his wolf hound that had already ran forward. Suddenly the dog stopped just as he was ready to lift his paw, frozen in place as a gunshot was heard. His tail still wagged gently as he turned around to seek his Master. The man ran quickly and the same moment a rabbit passed by the hunter speeding along like a bullet.
The next minute another young man came from where the gunshot was heard, dressed in elegant hunting costume and his eyes stopped at the hare the other man was holding.
‘Apparently, it seems you were luckier than me.’ He said his eyes finally settling on the other man’s face. He was tall, with brad shoulders and despite the hat that hid a large part of the head the newcomer could see sparkling blue eyes.
‘Ah were you the one who just shot, Sir?’ Asked the man in the blouse.
‘Yes, but not very expertly, as you clearly saw, because this hare ran just between my feet and I shot him from a real close distance…’
‘Not very flattering I’m afraid.’ Said the other man not really trying to hide the sarcastic smile. ‘But how come and you’re hunting in this part of the forest?’
‘Why,’ started the other man rather astonished by the rude question. ‘I hunt here because I have the right to.’
‘I don’t believe it. These woods belong to Mr. Harkness, who does not permit anyone to set his foot here.
‘Ah yes they belong to the industrialist from America, don’t they?’ said rather than asked the young man rather snobbish. ‘If I am in his land, it only happened without me knowing it. I’d probably lose my way and I’m sorry it has occurred. You’re…’ the man looked at the blue blouse and old clothes. ‘You must be Mr Harkness’ keeper?’
‘And who are you Sir?’ The man asked without giving an answer.
‘I am Lord Arwel Jones. I don’t make a habit of poaching I ask you to believe me.’
Upon hearing this, the man in the blouse took a good look of the other man –making comparisons between this man and the younger Jones he had already seen- and he bowed explained. ‘Please excuse me, Lord Jones. If I knew to whom I was talking to I would not have approached you nor asked you for any explanations. Please continue your shooting. Now if you’ll excuse me…’
The young Lord looked better at the man while he was talking. Despite his old clothes he had nice manners. His face was handsome and intelligent. His hands were well kept for and shaped and his gun was of great quality.
‘I thank you, but I don’t have the honour of knowing Mr Harkness. I only know he’s a troublesome neighbour and truth is, we are not in the best of terms. Only since yesterday I am in Warf. I don’t this place as well and it was only my love for hunting that has brought me to overstep our limit. However I’ll make sure to not happen again.
‘As you love.’ Said the taller man quietly. ‘I want to assure you though that Mr Harkness would be pleased to see you hunting here and that if he is, as you said a troublesome neighbour that is happening against his will. He has encroached on the Warf estate in laying down a mining railroad. Rest assured though that he regrets it, and that he is ready to indemnify you as you may please. The boundary of the two neighbouring estates, Warf and Torchwood, is sometimes uncertain,’ he added with a bright smile. ‘You have just experienced this yourself. So, do not judge Mr Harkness without knowing him. Later on you would certainly regret your fast judgment.’
‘Are you his friend then?’ The young aristocrat asked once again taking a good look of the other man. ‘Or are you one of his employees? I see that you defend him impressively.’
‘And that’s only natural, believe me, my Lord.’ And abruptly changing the conversation the man added. ‘But you don’t seem having any luck either in Warf or in Torchwood. Mr Harkness would have been unpleased if I was to inform him that you stepped out of his estate empty-handed. So I will ask you to accept this hare that you had the kindness to push my way. And also these two partridges.
‘I cannot accept those.’ The young Lord tried to refuse. ‘Keep those…’
‘And yet I will insist. I will leave them by this tree. You are free of course to follow my example but it will only be for the benefit of the foxes. And now I have to go Lord Jones.’
With a big leap he disappeared in the woods while Jones tried to keep him back shouting after him. The other man did not respond.
‘That was weird… what shall I do now?’ the nobleman wondered aloud. His own dog solved the problem by taking one partridge gently with his teeth and bringing it to his Master’s feet. He petted his dog.
‘You don’t want to go back with nothing, do you? Ianto will never let me forget it either. I have to admit he’s a much better hunter than me though…’
Next chapter at: anastasisrick.livejournal.com/2007.html