Wilde stormed across the sumptuous living room to his balcony. "And if you hewed to those moral values you so eloquently demand of others," he snarled, "you wouldn't be calling me!" He looked through the glass doors; there was some time before sunset.
"Useful idiots," he reminded himself. "You do the Master's work in the name of the Enemy." One breath, and he was calm enough to speak to his client again.
"Wilde! Wilde, answer me!" The Senator's drawl sounded panicky.
"I am here, Senator," he said. "A local client was at the door. I have sent him to the lobby until we can finish here." My supper is getting cold, he thought. May this be quick.
"He's going to the press tomorrow!" the Senator shouted. "This is an election year for me, and Beaufort—"
"I'm well aware of Beaufort," said Wilde. And if he pushes you aside, I will work for him. Or he for me, rather. "I can smooth things over. Your boy on the side will find it most advantageous to remain quiet." But the Senator's next election was likely to be his last. No matter: Beaufort or another would take his place. To Wilde, they were all interchangeable.
With the Senator placated, Wilde at last returned to his supper. An act of will, and it again warmed to the proper temperature. This situation seemed so familiar… oh yes. Centuries ago, a princeling had been caught out in a similar indiscretion. That was a simpler time, when you could solve most problems with blood and fire, but this day and age had its own conveniences.
With supper complete, Wilde poured himself a glass of wine and repaired to the balcony to watch Darkness fall over the land. This was a ritual he had failed to observe only a few times in millennia, and few places had ever afforded such a view as this penthouse tower in the heart of Chicago. As the last arc of sunlight slipped below the horizon, he raised his glass and spoke in a language long forgotten by humanity: The light is gone. Let Darkness cover the world. Our Master reigns. And he drank a toast to his Master.
With his evening worship ended, he began the ritual that would take him to the Senator's erstwhile boyfriend. A sufficient bribe should keep him in the shadows until he could do no more harm. And if not? There were still uses for blood and fire in these days.