"Look who I found," Sinead said, dumping Eva unceremoniously on the floor.
Niamh jumped up with a little scream, then prodded Eva with her foot. "Why is she breathing?"
"A question I would very much like the answer to, myself," Sinead said.
Gareth's eyes narrowed. "She owes us money."
"A lot of money," Liam agreed. He bent over Eva and shook her. "Wakey, wakey, Eva."
Eva stirred and sat up quickly, recoiling from his touch. She grabbed her head. "Oooh."
"How hard did you hit her, Sinead?" Liam said, amused.
Sinead shrugged. "She stole Grandmother's brooch."
Eva looked from one vampire face to another and as she did her panic rose like an invitation to the feast. Niamh licked her fangs.
"Can I eat her?"
"Not yet, little sister. First, I want answers." Gareth hauled Eva to her feet and plopped her into a chair. "Wine?"
Gareth looked at Liam. "Bring our guest some wine."
"What? I'm the butler now?"
"Oh for--I'll do it," said Sinead.
Once Eva had had some wine and some of the color was back in her face Gareth said, "Now, Eva, you're going to tell us a very interesting story, and if we like it we just might let you live."
"Awww," said Niamh, clearly disappointed.
"How is it that you're breathing again?"
"There's a witch who married death," she said. "I know, it sounds ridiculous to me too, but she's my roommate's niece so I have that straight from the horse's mouth."
"She married death, and?"
"She can bring people back from the dead. Even vampires. But first you have to be, you know, staked."
The vampires looked at each other, stunned into silence. Niamh rubbed her chest, over her heart, and winced.
"Why would anyone bring you
back?" Sinead asked with a curl of her lip.
"I did them a favor. Can I go now?" Eva started to stand up.
Gareth pushed her back down, roughly. "No. Where is our family's jewelry?"
"Sold. I mean, that was what, eighty years ago? A girl has to live."
"Not if I don't say so," said Gareth.
"Can I kill her?" Niamh asked.
"Yes," said Gareth, turning away.
"No! Wait, stop, I can pay you back." Eva grabbed his jacket in supplication. "Please."
Gareth shook her off as if she was unclean. "Don't touch me."
"I don't want money. I want my Grandmother's diamond brooch," Sinead said.
"I can get you other jewelry," Eva said. "Real heirloom stuff."
"Not interested," said Gareth. "Heirloom jewelry means powerful rich person who'd rather keep it."
"I'll just tell him I sold it, if he catches me. It'll be on my head, not yours. And this town is full of rich people with too many nice things for their own good."
"And she is the best thief we've ever met," Liam put in. Eva shot him a grateful look.
"I'll have to think about it. In the meantime, as a token of good faith, find Sinead a bauble that'll make her shut her damned trap about that STUPID ugly brooch."
Sinead snarled at Gareth.
"Anything. Done," Eva said, standing up and backing toward the door.
"Run," said Niamh, licking her lips. "I'm hungry."
Eva ran from the house as if all hell was at her heels while Niamh roared with laughter. "She runs like a chicken. Bet she tastes even better. Can I please, please catch her?"
"No, not yet," said Gareth. "She might still be useful."
"Phooey. I'm hungry."
"We'll have to wait until tomorrow to hunt. It's almost dawn," Gareth said. "Liam, you should be getting home."
Liam bowed sardonically, turned into a bat and flew off into the night.Next Chapter