I sighed again. “There really was no point in coming here, was there?”
“Depends on how you look at it.” Norene’s lips curved in a smile that was a little too sly to be called innocent, though that was probably her intent. “You might draw him out if you sing.”
“Sing?” I repeated, now wary. Was she setting me up for more embarrassment? “Why would I do that?”
“Trows like music.”
“Really.” I narrowed my eyes at the banshee, trying harder to read her. I still couldn’t tell if she was being honest, or if this was another trick or joke.
Norene shrugged. “Really.” Seeing that my suspicion had not let up in the slightest, she continued. “I mean, it’s half the reason they’re stuck here over on the dead side, after all. Most people object to getting kidnapped.”
“Kidnapped,” I repeated, raising an eyebrow. “And you brought me here without warning me of that because…?”
“Don’t worry, he wouldn’t go after a zombie even if you had a voice better than a siren,” Norene explained blithely.
“Right,” I grumbled. “Because everybody hates zombies.” I remembered how I’d come to meet Sarai, and the bhoot’s reaction when Sarai told her I was a zombie. She’d been perfectly happy to talk to me and invite me into her house so she could possess me until she’d learned what I was.
“Not everybody.” Norene nudged me with her shoulder, recapturing my attention. “I like zombies just fine.”
I snorted, appreciating the sentiment even if I wouldn’t admit it. “Yeah, but you’re strange.”
Norene sniffed. “Am not.”
“Liesel said it, not me. Also, you sound like Hugo now.”
“Nothing wrong with that,” she countered.
I just rolled my eyes. Norene could act like Hugo all she liked, but she wouldn’t draw me into the role of Meredith.
“Are you two going to chatter in my space all day, or should I go elsewhere to find my usual peace and quiet?” a childlike voice, pitched in a low growl, demanded.
“Hello Beathan,” Norene replied, cheerfully ignoring the grouchy tone. “This is my friend Margot. She’s living with me now.”
“Why should I care where some thrice-cursed zombie lives,” he retorted.
Looking around the room, I still didn’t see anyone. And it wasn’t like there was anywhere to hide, either, unless the creature could somehow hide behind cobwebs. There was still a chance he was invisible, too, though Norene had claimed that wasn’t the case.
“You don’t have to care, I’m just telling you anyway. Plus, she’s new, and she has good stories about the living side. Did you know they have rules about crossing the street there?”
I heard a snort. “Stupidest tripe I’ve ever heard.”
“Also people who spend all their time fixing things, and—”
“Didn’t I tell you to leave?”
“Actually, you asked if we were going to stay here or if you should find somewhere quieter,” I retorted. Great, now I was speaking to disembodied voices. Maybe I was going insane.
Well, better insane than a zombie, and it was already too late for the latter.