CHAPTER ONE

CHAPONESIX FLOORS ABOVE CENTRAL PARK MIGHT AS WELL BE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MANHATTAN.

That’s how it has always felt to him.   It is why he spent most of his days and nights in his penthouse overlooking the park. During the summer nights, the treetops acted like a sea of green washing away the detritus of a million souls and twice as many sins.   During the winter, it looked to him as if the trees were withered hands praying to an uncaring god for salvation for those same souls.

He would sit in the same leather chair his mother used to nurse him in nearly two hundred years ago.   He would sip his elixir from an ancient crystal goblet gifted to him by a grateful Patient Zero five years ago.

And he would listen to the live chamber music by the quartet who would play through the night, even as he slept.   Something by Schumann.

But there was going to be no sleep on this night.

He could feel it deep in the space that long ago housed his soul.