I opened the door to my room, rubbing at the headache beginning between my temples. I had been right—two zombie kids had nothing on my witch cousins—but they did seem to enjoy challenging that assumption by making as much noise as possible. You’d think they’d have screeched themselves hoarse by now (and considering they were zombies, there was no guarantee their vocal chords would actually ever recover), but if anything, they seemed to get louder. Norene, on the other hand, didn’t seem bothered by this in the slightest. Maybe they were trying to prove they could out-scream a banshee.
That wasn’t a promising thought.
I flopped onto the bed, sighing as the springs groaned beneath me. Yes, broken bed springs were just what I needed right now. Something else to bargain for with the draugr. There had to be someone else who did business with the living side. Immortals or no, people had a way of getting around the rules whether they were dead or not. Now if I could just get funding from the appropriate sources, I’d have people with the means on the living side who would take care of such things for me, and I’d only have to go to the draugr for luxuries.
A loud crashing sound had me springing out of bed and racing for the stairs. Children. Just when you thought you had them handled, they just had to prove you wrong.
“What’s going on?” I looked around when I reached the bottom of the stairs, trying to figure out where Norene and the little monsters had got to.
“In here!” Norene called from the direction of the kitchen.
Great. Just great.
I marched into the room that had so recently been fixed up with running water, and glared around the room. “What happened? What’s broken?”
Meredith snickered, which only increased my concern. “Hugo’s in trouble,” she sing-songed.
“Wasn’t my fault!” the boy in question protested, crossing his arms.
“Quiet!” I bellowed, drawing startled looks from Norene as well as the children.
“Ooh, she’s mad…”
I glared Meredith into silence. “Who’s going to tell me what happened?”
Meredith pointed at her brother. “He did it!”
Hugo stuck his tongue out, but didn’t actually deny it.
“Did what?” I directed this question at Norene, who appeared no less serene than she had while requesting breakfast from the Distribution Office.
“You don’t have to worry, Margot.”
This statement did nothing to ease my concern.
“The chair wasn’t very well made anyway.”
“Told you it wasn’t my fault!” Hugo crowed.
Meredith smirked when I glared at him. I turned back to Norene. “What chair?”
“The children already took it outside. Maybe someone will have a use for it and take it.” She smiled. “See? No need to worry.”
I took a breath. “And nothing else was broken, damaged, or otherwise disturbed?”
“Nope!” she replied, entirely too cheerful.
Right. Well, I’d just have to give the house a good look-over once Jane came to rescue us from her children. I nodded to Norene, gave both children warning glares, and headed back upstairs. How long had Jane said she’d be?