The next night, Paige came on her own. She wore long sleeves, and hugged herself, not nearly as much the picture of a haughty Rose that she had been a few nights before. "I called Robierre," she said from the doorway. "My allies will come for me, don't think that they won't."
"I very much doubt it is any concern of mine," he said cheerfully. The knife made its third, final, deadly slice. "Drink," he told her, and she did it with resignation. When she had finished, he asked, "What happened to Circe?"
"She died," Paige said, eyes already crinkling with theatrical tears. "It was a great loss to us, she was so--" He stabbed her again, and she curled herself around the wound, choking out the rest of her sentence. "I don't know what happened, the Sabbat were in the city and they killed her."
"This is what you will do," he said, ignoring her languishing at his feet, unmoved by her attempts to make herself look appealing and sexually alluring. "You will go to Chicago, Illinois. You will purchase three havens, in different parts of the city, and focus on making sure they're well-secured and adequately guarded. You will acquire as much local media influence as possible, and whatever finances you can amass." He smiled. "This should keep you busy, so there's no need for socializing. Don't introduce yourself."
She put both hands on his knee, simpering up at him with all the charm she possessed. "But, don't you want--"
He slit her throat. Not deep enough to kill her, or even bleed her out, but enough to cut the vocal cords and silence her. "Don't you ever learn?" he asked, his voice still friendly and mildly disappointed. "You can go now."
She choked, trying to hold her throat closed with both hands, and scuttled backward, turning toward the door.
"Oh, and Paige?" She stopped, fearful eyes looking back at him above the double red mouths. He smiled at her, effortlessly gorgeous, and snapped his fingers. The air in the room shivered, then coalesced between the two Kindred into a smear, then a shadow, then a wavering vision, and finally a terrifying reality. A seven-foot-tall being crouched in the center of the room, its hideous, scabrous head turning toward Paige like a dog scenting blood. A leprous tongue lolled past its knees, spilling from between terrifying yellow teeth. It was shaped like a lumpy, monstrously-sized gorilla, cords of muscle distorting its mottled skin and an obscene tail trailing between its legs. Pus-yellow eyes glowed mockingly in her direction, and the entire room quivered with sudden dread and a horrific, mind-bending sense of evil.
"This is the Devil," said Dominic with a smile, sitting in his armchair beside the horror. "I control him, you see. He's going to follow you, now." He ignored her gurgling attempt to scream as she shrank back against the doorframe. "He'll disappear after a few minutes, don't worry... wouldn't want to panic the mortals. But he'll still be there, watching you." His smile was still friendly, as non-threatening as if he were offering her a drink. "And if you fail, in even the slightest degree, to do what I told you... then killing you will be only the first thing he'll do to you." The monster in the middle of the room made an ugly chuckling sound. "He wants to devour your soul, Paige. So maybe that'll motivate you not to do anything stupid."
Paige finally managed to get the door open, shaking in terror, and as she pelted down the hall the creature was already lumbering after her.
Dominic poured himself another scotch.