I stood in front of her door, the one she had just slammed in my face, wondering, not for the first time, how I’d come to this. I was a thousand-year-old Viking vampire warrior. I did not fall in love with barmaids, and they certainly did not callously turn me out into the night.
My fingers pressed against the frame as if I could reach through to her. As if I could change anything that had brought us to the moment when I found myself lost in the shadow of what was; what now could never be. I resisted the urge to shatter the wood into splinters as the silence of the night mocked me.
I had come here in the hopes that she would fight alongside me, my clever blond beauty, my valkyrie, my lover. How often had we done that? Faced down the evil that seemed determined to take the peace I had carefully cultivated here in the middle of nowhere. I never wanted power, caring nothing for politics; I only wished to rule my small kingdom; for my people to understand the protection and safety I could offer them.
The life I knew changed the night Sookie Stackhouse walked into Fangtasia, an innocent with the eyes of an ancient. It was then I knew that I needed to understand the undeniable draw of this human who stood before me, afraid and yet undaunted. She was unlike any woman I had known before, or would know again I feared.
I do not know how long I stood in front of the door I had given her months ago, but knew it was long past time for me to go. Turning my back on my love, I took off into the night unable to revel in the wind that whipped around me. I would do as she asked and let her go. I’d known she would never let me turn her, but I never imagined she would simply turn her back on me like I was nothing more than chattel, a wild fling forgotten in the light of day.
I would go to Oklahoma, distasteful as it was, I had no choice. If only she understood how my maker had doomed me. Even in death, he still controlled my life, and once again, he had taken everything from me.
But I was Eric fucking Northman and I would never give in, not without a fight. Let them think I was cowed. Let them think they had won. I would crush them like I had so many others. The sky shivered and the stars streaked by as I drew closer to Shreveport. The Queen would be awaiting my submission. I must not seem agitated, could not let the rage seep through.
There would be time enough for their destruction.