Twelve Years Later
Eric watched with barely concealed amusement as Freyda threw one of her famous temper tantrums. For all her claims to be a lady of stature and class, at times she acted worse than a human toddler. The twelve years he had been separated from Sookie and married to the vile creature in front of him had been unbearable, and he made sure they were as equally painful to Freyda.
Eric would never forget the look on her face on the night of their wedding when she realized she wouldn’t be getting everything she desired. Eric might have been forced to pledge to Freyda for a hundred years, but he made sure she knew he intended to make them the worst hundred years of her existence.
Twelve Years Earlier
It took everything Eric had not to spit the blood out as he drank from the chalice; it tasted like ashes in his mouth as he swallowed, forcing the liquid down his throat. Handing the chalice to Freyda, Eric barely restrained himself from rolling his eyes – a habit he picked up from Pam – as Freyda brought the cup to lips and made a show of drinking their combined blood. The way she was moaning, anyone would have thought she was having an orgasm on the platform. Eric watched with a sense of detachment as she handed the cup back to the King of New Jersey, who was officiating their ceremony.
“I now pronounce you pledged,” New Jersey’s voice boomed to gentle applause. Before he had a chance to say anything else, Eric leapt off the platform and strolled towards the giant doors at the front of the room.
“Eric?” Freyda screeched, her voice cutting through the murmurs of the crowd.
Eric stopped mere feet away from the door and turned around to face her, a look of annoyance on his face.
“Our ceremony wasn’t over. You’re supposed to kiss your new bride,” Freyda said, attempting to sound sweet.
Eric let out a put upon sigh, playing the room to his full ability, before lifting his hand to his lips and blowing her a kiss. He let out a chuckle as he saw Pam do the same before strolling out the room, leaving Freyda humiliated and seething on the platform while all the visiting vampires tittered around her at the blatant disrespect her new husband had shown her.
Trying to hide the humiliation she felt, Freyda thanked the King of New Jersey before gracefully stepping off the platform. Holding her head high, she ignored the whispers around her as she followed Eric out of the room. Her fury grew with each step at the disrespect he had shown her. She found him lounging in the room she had assigned his child like he didn’t have a care in the world. She didn’t miss the look of disdain on both Eric and Pam faces as she barged into the room.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” she screamed, all pretense of the refined Queen she pretended to be gone.
“Speaking with my child,” Eric replied calmly.
“You’re supposed to be at our wedding reception.”
“Was I?” Eric questioned.
“I do remember someone mentioning it, Eric,” Pam supplied helpfully. “But you thought it was unimportant and a waste of time.”
“Unimportant,” Freyda screeched. “I have invited Monarchs from various states to witness and celebrate our union, and I won’t be disrespected and made to look like a fool by you not attending. You will both return to the hall and join in the celebrations. Neither of you will leave until they’re complete.” Casting them both a scornful look, Freyda spun on her heels and stormed out.
Rising to his feet, Eric smirked at Pam, “You heard the Queen. Let’s go and entertain her guests.”
A devilish smile spread over Pam’s face. “I would be delighted to,” she purred.
Freyda smiled as she saw Pam re-enter the room. She straightened her shoulders as she waited to greet her new husband, the smile turning into a scowl minutes later when Eric came strutting through the doors. Gone was the custom made suit and designer shoes she presented him with before the ceremony, and in their place he wore a pair of tight fitting dark jeans, a black t-shirt, and motorcycle boots. She bit back the snarl that was building in her throat as she watched him cross the room and greet the King of Texas, Stan Davis, and her anger grew as she heard them laughing together. As the night progressed, Freyda glared balefully at her new husband as he all but ignored her. Whenever she would approach him, he would dismiss her disdainfully or just walk away from her. She missed the growing whispers of her guests as they gossiped about how disrespectfully her new husband was treating her.
Growing tired of his actions, Freyda marched across the room while he was in conversation with the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington. Wrapping her arm around his, Freyda dug her nails into his forearm when he tried to shake her off. Looking up at him, she fluttered her eyelashes and smiled up at him.
“I do hope I’m not interrupting anything,” she simpered.
“Of course not,” Russell said, answering instead. “I was just asking after the delightful Miss Stackhouse.”
“Really?” Freyda gritted out, not happy hearing that name on her wedding night.
“Oh, yes. Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting her?” Russell asked. He never gave Freyda the chance to answer before he continued on. “She is such a lovely young woman, and so brave. She actually took a stake meant for my second in command, Betty-Jo, and she hadn’t even met her at the time. And then there were her actions at Rhodes. If it wasn’t for her, many vampires would’ve perished that fateful day. She is truly remarkable, something I never thought I would say about a human. I can certainly understand why she holds the Viking’s heart.”
Freyda’s eyes blazed at the implication of Russell’s words. “Eric is mine,” she snarled. “He is my husband.”
“Come now, my dear,” Russell replied, leaning in closer. “It is no secret that this union wasn’t of the Northman’s choosing. We all know his Maker forced him into it; you and the Roman brokered the contract behind his back, and he tried everything he could to get out of it. Everyone knows Eric considers Miss Stackhouse to be his true wife.”
“Their union was broken,” Freyda said.
“And yet, she still holds his heart,” Russell taunted before turning his back on Freyda and walking away.
“How dare he talk to me like that, and how dare you let him,” Freyda spat. “You should’ve defended me.”
“From what? The truth?” Eric replied. “Every word he spoke was the truth.”
“You’re my husband.”
“Through no choice of my own,” Eric growled, shaking her off, before storming out the room again.
Despite Freyda’s many demands, Eric refused to return and take part in the farce that was their reception. Freyda was forced to rejoin the celebrations to their wedding alone. Her humiliation reached new heights when she had to forgo the traditional first dance with her new husband due to Eric’s refusal to participate in the mockery.
As Freyda left the celebrations hours later a wicked smile spread over her face; it was time for them to consummate the pledging. Eric had no choice but to participate in that. The rules were clear: if he didn’t he could be severely punished, up to and including meeting the true death if she so demanded it. After sending one of her vampires to inform Eric his presence was requested, nay, demanded in her chambers, Freyda set about setting the stage for the wedding night.
Pouring two glasses of Royalty Blend into champagne flutes, Freyda set them down on the cabinet beside her bed, before quickly stripping off her wedding gown and putting on a sheer white night dress that fell to her upper thighs. She didn’t bother to put on any undergarments, leaving her body almost bare. She lounged back on the bed in what she believed to be a seductive pose, her legs parted slightly in invitation.
Eric could smell her arousal before he even stepped foot into her chambers; he clenched his fist in anger at the thought of what he was going to be forced to do. Eric had sex with countless men and women over the centuries, humans and supernaturals, but apart from those early years with his Maker, it was never against his will or against the will of his partner. But this was most certainly against his will; under any other circumstance Eric would have never touched Freyda. He couldn’t believe he was being forced to defile his body in such a way. A thousand years passed, but Appius was still raping him.
Gritting his teeth, Eric pushed open the door to her chambers, his eyes taking in the decadent design. The room was filled with expensive antiques and trinkets. It was clear to him that Freyda was trying to show off her wealth, but Eric thought it only made her look cheap. There was no style to the room, just the advertisement of someone who had money. Freyda was nothing like his slain Queen, Sophie-Anne, and in that moment Eric found himself mourning his old Queen. Sophie-Anne was a Queen of class and honor, a true monarch, unlike the charlatan who now held her throne. If Sophie-Anne had still been among the undead and the ruler of Louisiana, Eric wouldn’t have been in this predicament. The marriage contract would have been nullified before the ink even dried on it.
Eric had few regrets in his long existence, not seeing the point of obsessing over the past when the future was what he had to live, but he did regret not avenging his Queen and sending de Castro into the next life. He should have struck down the arrogant Spaniard when he had the chance on the night Seigbert attacked them. Instead of defending his new King, he should have taken his head off. He would have been forced to step into the role of King, but at least he would have been able to refuse the contract Appius made with Freyda. A King or Queen couldn’t be forced into an alliance not of their choosing; it was one of their oldest laws.
Eric let out a growl at the thought. It seemed that now it was too late to do anything about it, he had thought up a way out. Killing de Castro now would do nothing but make him feel better; he was pledged to Freyda, and killing his former King wouldn’t change that. Although, it would keep Sookie safe from him, but not anyone else who wished to use her.
So lost in his thoughts about killing de Castro, Eric hadn’t noticed Freyda climb off the bed and saunter towards him. She ran her hands down the front of his body, snapping Eric out of his thoughts. Mistaking Eric’s growl of anger as one of lust, she pressed her breasts into his chest as her arms wrapped themselves around his waist, her eyes darkening with lust.
“I knew you wanted me,” she purred as she rubbed herself against him.
Grabbing her by the shoulders, Eric pushed her away from him. “Then you are even stupider than you look,” he sneered, eyeing her with distaste.
He couldn’t deny she was quite attractive, and before he met Sookie he may have entertained the notion of bedding her, but that’s as far as it would have gone. He would have fucked her and then walked away, never looking back; he would have never tied himself to her. The only woman he ever wanted to tie himself to in such away was his lover, his Sookie. As usual, the thought of Sookie brought a smile to his face and a stirring to his pants. Images of how they spent the previous night filled his mind, their desperation and sorrow at knowing it was their final together had fueled their passion. Their coupling had been hard and fast, slow and gentle and all consuming. Sookie gave herself to him in every way possible and in return he worshipped her in all the ways he knew.
“Really, darling,” Freyda drawled, “your lips might say one thing, but your body says something entirely different.” Her eyes fixed on the impressive bulge pressing against the front of his jeans. She reached out in an attempt to rub her hand over him, but Eric caught her wrist.
“Don’t flatter yourself, your majesty,” Eric growled. “It’s not because of you.”
Snatching her hand away, Freyda paced back and forth. “Let me guess, it’s because of your telepathic little blood bag,” she snarled. “You know you’ll never have her again. By time you’re free she’ll be nothing but dust. Well, unless Felipe decides to turn her, but even then you’ll never have her.”
“I know,” Eric admitted. “I may never have the pleasure of laying with my lover again, but it doesn’t mean I will stop thinking about her. I will never stop thinking about her warm thighs wrapped around my hips, her small hands gripping my shoulders, how amazing it felt to be inside her, how her hot, wet cunt would grip me so tight, the face she made when I made her cum. It is those memories that make me hard. If it wasn’t for those memories I wouldn’t even be able to get it up enough to be forced to fuck you.”
“I have suitors lining up for a place in my bed; you should feel honored I chose you. You should worship me. I can give you pleasure like you have never experienced before. I can please you better than your little blood bag did.”
“Sookie was my greatest pleasure,” Eric dismissed. “You could never match up.”
“I am a vampire Queen,” Freyda replied. “I am not some backwater piece of trash. You won’t ever have to hold back with me, you can be the vampire you were created to be. I can do things she never could. You won’t have to hide who you are.”
“I never had to hide who I was,” Eric said. “She accepted me. Sookie gave me everything I needed, everything I wanted.”
“Enough, you won’t speak her name again,” Freyda ordered, not wishing to hear any more. “You’re mine. My husband, not hers.”
“Again, through no choice of mine,” Eric said, repeating the words he had spoken earlier. “If I had the choice, I would be with Sookie now.”
“I said not to speak her name.”
“I do not care what you say,” Eric growled. “I will speak of her whenever and as often as I like.”
“I grow tired of this,” Freyda huffed. “It’s our wedding night, the time for us to seal our union and make love.”
Eric looked at Freyda like she was insane. It was bad enough he had to stick his dick in her; there was no way he was actually going to make love to her. As he eyed her with barely disguised hatred he found himself wishing he hadn’t rejected Pam’s idea and become the first vampire in history to wear a condom.
“I will never make love to you,” he stated.
“You know our laws, Eric,” Freyda said, her eyes running over him as she mentally undressed him. “Unless you want to face punishment you have to make love to your new wife.”
“I have to fuck you,” Eric corrected. “I may have to stick my cock in your disease-ridden fuck hole,” he silently thanked Pam for that insult, “but believe me, I will never make love to you.”
Freyda took a deep unneeded breath as she tried to calm herself. This was her wedding night and she wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin it for her, not even her new husband. She had been waiting for this moment for a quite a while, ever since she had seen Eric dancing with Sookie at Rhodes. She had seen the passion Eric held for the little telepath and she wanted it for herself. She wanted his strength, his loyalty, his body, but more importantly she wanted his heart. Freyda was convinced that once Eric had a taste of what she had to offer he wouldn’t refuse her. He would forgive her for involving Appius and forget about his former bonded.
Sauntering towards him again, Freyda placed her hands on his t-shirt covered chest, smiling inwardly when he didn’t remove them. She delighted in the feeling of his hard chest beneath her hands; she couldn’t wait to feel it pressed against her as he made love to her. The thought of what was to come had arousal flooding her body. She could feel her excitement pooling between her legs and dripping down her thighs. The anticipation of what was to come driving her crazy.
“Take me to bed, my husband,” Freyda purred. Lifting herself up onto her tiptoes, she angled her head towards Eric’s, intending to press her lips to his, but before she had the chance, Eric gripped her shoulders painfully and spun her around. Pushing her against the nearest wall, he held her hands above her head while he freed himself from the confines of his jeans. Holding her hands above her head with one hand, he lifted her nightdress up with the other.
“Mmm, yes,” Freyda moaned.
Eric gritted his teeth as he took his erection in his hand. In that moment Eric found himself grateful that Sookie had broken their bond. As much as he mourned the loss of it, he wouldn’t have wanted her to feel what he was about to do. Lining himself up, Eric pushed into Freyda hard, burying himself deep inside her with one thrust, uncaring of any discomfort it may have caused her. He thrust into her a few times before pulling his still hard cock out and forcing it back into his jeans and strolling to the door.
“Eric!” Freyda screamed once she realized he had no intention of continuing.
“What?” Eric asked, pausing by the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“To visit with my child,” Eric replied. “I shall rest with her tonight.”
“We’re not done here,” Freyda yelled.
“Yes, we are.”
“No, we’re not. We haven’t consummated our pledging, our laws say…”
“That I have to fuck you,” Eric interrupted. “They say nothing about how long it must take or whether you or I have to cum. I followed our laws; this sham of a marriage has been consummated. Now if you will excuse me, I feel the need to cleanse my body of your filth. Good evening, your majesty.”
The door to her chamber was barely shut before one of her Ming vases crashed into it. A scream tore from her throat as she destroyed her room. She couldn’t believe Eric had humiliated and dismissed her in such a way.
Eric smiled to himself, receiving the first bit of pleasure all evening as he listened to Freyda destroy her room. It was just the first volley in the war he had just declared, but he was quite happy with himself. If he were forced to stay married to Freyda and away from his love, the wife of his heart, Sookie, he would make Freyda suffer with him. He made his way through Freyda’s palace to Pam’s room, eager to tell his child about everything that transpired.
When Freyda rose the next night, gossip was rife among her subjects. Everyone had heard how her new husband shunned her the night before, choosing to rest with his child. Some thought it a slight to their Queen, while others questioned her wisdom at tying herself to someone who clearly despised her. Good or bad, Eric’s actions had everyone talking.
The whispers only grew worse when instead of greeting his new wife in thanking those who attended their union, Eric greeted Freyda with his bags packed and the news he would be taking his leave.
“No,” Freyda snarled her eyes glaring balefully at Eric. “I won’t allow it. I forbid you to leave my Queendom.”
“With all due respect, your majesty. You have no right to forbid me to leave,” Eric replied coolly. “While I have been forced to marry you, I have not at any time sworn fealty to you. I am free to leave any time I see fit.”
“You’re my husband and as such your place is by my side,” Freyda argued.
“Our laws, which I know you are familiar with, state pledged couples do not have to live together if they do not want to, and I assure you, I do not want to. All that is required is a coupling once a year. I am free to leave whenever I want. So I shall see you next year,” Eric said as he bowed in a mock salute before exiting the room.
Good to his word, it was a year before Freyda set eyes on him again. During that year he spent his time building his resources as he gathered everything he needed to overthrow de Castro. Eric didn’t want to be King. His drive to see de Castro usurped was more to do with his need to keep Sookie safe and out of the vampire King’s hands than any real desire for power. When Eric heard the night after his wedding that Sookie was gone, she had fled, he knew it wouldn’t be long before de Castro gave chase. He had used centuries of connections to keep de Castro grounded long enough for Eric to take his head. The takeover had been bloody and brutal, but at the end of the night, Eric stood victorious and the King of three states.
Freyda had been overjoyed when she heard the news. Although she had been angry that Eric hadn’t sought her council or included her in his plans, she had been willing to overlook that when she realized she was now the Queen of four states and would be one of the most powerful Queens in the US. Her joy had quickly given way to dismay and then anger when Eric informed her he had no intention of tying their states together, and she would never be his Queen.
With de Castro dead and him in power, Eric tried to get word to Sookie that it was safe for her to return. Even though they couldn’t be together, he could still protect her, but after nearly a year, even he couldn’t find her, something he was both happy and sad about. He was happy that she was beyond the reach of the American vampires, but sad that he had no idea how she was. His only pleasure was in knowing that Bill hadn’t found her either. The younger vampire hadn’t wasted any time in chasing after her, but as far as Eric knew he hadn’t ever succeeded in capturing her.
For twelve years Eric followed the same pattern, he would arrive at Freyda’s palace on the night of their anniversary and fuck her in the same way he did on their wedding night. Eric would never take her on the bed, nor would he disrobe in front of her, each year he would penetrate her quickly before pulling out and leaving. Not once did he make her cum, despite her many tricks. Over the years Eric had been forced to be in her presence on nights other than their anniversary for various reasons, and on those nights, Eric would go out of his way to humiliate her. It was often childish and unfit way for a King to act, but Eric couldn’t bring himself to care. Time hadn’t healed the wound left by his separation with Sookie, and he lashed out at one of the people responsible.
The monarchs of the other states often found it amusing; they all wondered what the Norseman would do next. They watched Eric and Freyda like they were their own personal soap opera, at times egging Eric on by inviting them both to their states at the same time. They took pleasure in watching the once-regal Queen be brought down to size. Her arrogance had grown to epic proportions over the years and they enjoyed watching her be humiliated.
Eric had been quick to assert his control over his new states, showing those who enjoyed his treatment of Freyda that he hadn’t lost his edge and was still a force to be reckoned with, in case they got it into their minds to attack him. Eric may have become cruel and vindictive in the last decade, but he hadn’t become soft.
Eric was dragged from his trip down memory lane by Freyda’s shrill voice; he smirked as he saw the Queen round on her vampire child, berating her for her actions.
“How dare you,” Freyda screeched, eyeing her cowering child. I gave you the gift of immortality and this is how you repay me. Fucking my husband in my own bed.”
“Forgive me my Queen.”
“Forgive you?” Freyda snorted. “I should have you chained in silver and whipped. And as for you,” she spun around and rounded on Eric, who was still lying in the bed. “How dare you disrespect in such a way!”
Rolling his eyes, Eric pulled himself from the bed. Lifting his arms over his head, he made a show of stretching. Grabbing his jeans, he pulled them on before turning to face Freyda. He sneered at the heated look in her eyes as they fell over his body. He couldn’t believe she was still clueless after all these years. Since the night of their pledging he had showed her nothing but disrespect. It wasn’t even the first time she had caught him fucking someone from her retinue. Hell, he had probably fucked every female in the place in one way or another, and he made no secret of it, in fact he advertised it.
Eric smirked devilishly as he recalled an incident about six years ago, when, after celebrating his anniversary by giving Freyda his usual three thrusts, he collected half of the female donors who resided in the palace and proceeded to fuck them until dawn. He made sure everyone could hear them. Granted, fucking his wife’s child was in a different league to fucking her guards, pets, and donors, but by now she should expect it.
Eric let his eyes flick over the Queen’s child, Marietta. She was attractive in a way, with her long black hair and green eyes; her body was lithe and pale. She wasn’t his usual type, but then, Eric tended to avoid them as much as possible. As much as he enjoyed blonde-haired women with fuller figures, they reminded him too much of Sookie – not that he needed the reminder. She still haunted him.
The vampire cowering from her Maker was nothing like his lost love. She had merely been a means to an end, like all women were these days. He hadn’t set out to bed her; he paid her little attention over the years, and he certainly had no plans to seduce her. She had been the one who did the entire running. She had been flirting with him for years; whenever their paths crossed she had been blatant with her come on. At first Eric assumed she was following Freyda’s orders, that for some reason Freyda was responsible for her child’s actions, but the more he observed them, the more he realized Marietta was acting on her own. Freyda had no idea she was coming on to him.
When Eric arrived at Freyda’s palace that night he hadn’t intended to bed Marietta. He had no plans other than sticking his cock in Freyda once and then getting the hell out of there. But as he was leaving, he ran into Marietta. She had been more aggressive in her pursuit of him that night; she all but begged him to let her suck his cock. Never one to turn down a blowjob, Eric pushed her to her knees and pulled his cock out of his pants, making her suck him off in the middle of the corridor, not caring who saw. Marietta had been happy to comply, wrapping her lips around his cock before the last word spilled from his lips. Marietta had blown him like a pro, twisting her tongue and hollowing her cheeks; Eric shot his seed down her throat, holding her head to him making her drink every last drop. Her eyes shone with lust as she kneeled before him and she asked him if there was anything else she could do for him, emphasizing anything.
Eric wasted no time. Pulling her to her feet, he dragged her down the corridor towards Freyda’s chambers, knowing she would have left them by now, having learned her patterns years ago. Having been refused by him again, she would head straight to the donor pool where she would repeat her order that no donor was allowed near him that night. Something she had been doing for the last five years, not wanting a repeat of her previous humiliation, before getting a donor to finish what Eric refused.
Eric hadn’t planned to fuck his wife’s child in her bed, but he wasn’t going to pass it up. He had Marietta naked and on all fours before the door even closed. He had taken her hard and fast, making her cum numerous times, soaking Freyda’s bed in their combined juices. He pounded into hard, setting an almost brutal pace as she begged for more. He hadn’t even stopped when Freyda returned, walking in on the two of them. Not until she had flown at them did he pull out of Marietta.
His attention was drawn back to Freyda, her ranting finally tempering off. Seeing the glare she was sending him, he realized she was waiting for him to explain his behavior and apologize. Grabbing his shirt, he slipped it on. “What?” he asked as buttoned it up.
“What?” Freyda repeated shrilly.
“How dare you treat your Queen like this,” Freyda raged.
“You are not my Queen, and you never will be,” Eric replied, repeating words he had spoken a hundred times.
“I’m Queen of this state, the state you’re in,” Freyda said. “You will respect me. Now I want an explanation for your actions.”
“I was horny,” Eric said, shrugging his shoulders. “And your child was most accommodating and quite talented. The things she can do with her tongue,” Eric ran his tongue over his teeth, “were inspiring. You must be so proud to have such a talented, giving child.”
“You had no rights to touch her. She was off-limits.”
“Then perhaps you should have told her that,” Eric said. “She was the one who initiated it.”
“You expect me to believe that?” Freyda scoffed. “You’ve shown you will do anything to humiliate me, and fucking my child would certainly fit with your plan.”
“True,” Eric admitted.
“So you admit it, you seduced my child for no other reason then to humiliate me.”
“No, it may come as a surprise to you Freyda, but not everything I do is about you. You did not even factor into my thoughts tonight. And, to be clear, I did not seduce Marietta; she was the one who did all the chasing, like a bitch in heat. I was leaving this godforsaken place when she stopped me in the corridor and all but begged to suck my cock, which she did very well by the way.”
“You don’t honestly expect me to believe what happened here tonight wasn’t of your doing?”
“You can believe what you like, I do not care,” Eric answered truthfully.
“You will care, I will make you care,” Freyda said, glaring at him furiously.
“I will never care,” Eric replied, his tone hard, “not for you, your position, or your state, and there is nothing you can do to make me. The sooner you accept that, the better it will be.”
“I’ve tolerated a lot from you over the years. I’ve given you time to mourn the loss of that pathetic little telepathic blood bag, and I’ve put up with your disrespect because I know together we would be unstoppable, but it ends now. All your games will cease; you will be the husband, I want you to be. While you’re in my area you will bed me and only me. I don’t care who you whore yourself with outside of my state. You will announce me as your Queen and we will unite our states. You will honor our marriage like your Maker intended.”
“No, I won’t,” Eric replied simply. “This will end in eighty-eight years.”
“It’ll never end. You’re mine, I’ll never let you go.”
“You will have no say in the matter,” Eric said. “Appius is gone, and even if he wasn’t, as a King he couldn’t force me to repledge to you. Nothing and no one can. This will end – the whole farce you call a marriage and I call a sentence.”
“You will repledge to me when the time comes,” Freyda shouted. “You will treat me like your wife and Queen. You owe me.”
“I owe you?” Eric repeated incredulously.
“Yes, I made you a King,” Freyda snarled. “If it wasn’t for me, you would still be a lowly Sheriff. I made you royalty. I gave you a taste of what it felt like and you wanted more. You’re a King because of me.”
“No, I am a King because of her,” Eric replied his tone firm. “I took de Castro’s head because I knew she would never be safe while he lived. You had no part in my reasoning or actions. Do not overestimate your importance, Freyda. I am not a King because of you. Everything I did was because of her. I am just sorry I didn’t do it before I was forced into this sham. If I had, I would be with her now, and Sookie would be my wife and Queen.”
“You would have made her your Queen?” Freyda said with disgust. “You would give to a human what you deny me?”
“That and a whole lot more; there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give her,” Eric admitted. “I would give her her heart’s desire.”
Freyda stared at Eric, aghast as his words hit her hard. Her heart’s desire. Those little words held so much weight as she realized despite the twelve years passed, Eric was still in love with the girl. In an attempt to rationalize to herself, Freyda dismissed their relationship as nothing more than infatuation, even after seeing them together at Rhodes, where she first saw Eric’s passion and coveted it for herself, but she refused to believe it was anything else. She couldn’t accept Eric could love someone if he didn’t love her. But as she heard Eric say he would have made Sookie his Queen, she had no choice but to. She had to accept the truth: it wasn’t infatuation that Eric held for Sookie, but love. It was at that moment she realized what everyone else knew all along: he would never love her, and he would never treat her with anything other than scorn and contempt. She would never be his Queen.
Freyda felt her anger grow as the realization settled over her. He humiliated and disrespected her for a human. She foolishly believed his behavior was due to Appius forcing him into the marriage, for her arranging the contract without his knowing, but now she knew the truth. Freyda remembered every incident over the last twelve years, all the insults, the scornful looks, every time he denied her and taken a whore in her place. All the times she walked in on him fucking one of her pets or guards; the images flashed through her mind, the laughter and the jeering. The time she walked into her throne room and saw a dignitary from California on her knees sucking his cock, while he lounged in her throne.
Her anger coiled as she remembered every humiliation. Grabbing a wrought iron candlestick, she hurled it at him.
“Careful, that could have hit me,” Eric said as he sidestepped it.
Freyda let out a primal scream as she flew at him, her hands bent into claws. She attacked with a fury of blows, her anger snapping as his laughter filled the room while he held her off. She hissed and spat at him and tried to strike him. As quick as her anger came, it went, and Freyda tore herself away from him. She glared at Eric hatred burning brightly in her eyes.
“I will make you pay for this,” she swore.
“I’ve been paying for this for the last twelve years,” Eric snorted.
“You think this is a joke?” Freyda asked.
“A very bad one,” Eric answered.
“You’ve no idea who you’re dealing with,” Freyda said. “I will make you suffer for what you have done. You won’t walk away from this unscathed.”
“Maybe not,” Eric conceded, “but when it is all over, I will walk away and I will never look back.”
“Don’t be so sure, Viking,” Freyda threatened. “I still have allies. I have bound you to my side once and I can do it again.”
“The only person who could ever bind me to you is ash in the wind,” Eric replied. “You have nothing. You are nothing.”
“I am a Queen!” Freyda shouted.
“You are a laughing stock,” Eric taunted. “You hold no respect. Other monarchs openly mock you. Your own child disrespects you by spreading her legs for me. The only reason no one has attacked you is because they like seeing you humiliated. Now if you will excuse me, I shall take my leave.”
Not giving her a chance to reply, Eric sauntered out of her chambers, down the corridors, and out of her palace. He did not want to get caught up in any more drama that night.