So far, Killer had eaten three of her cigarettes, but Adora Belle didn't mind. She had plenty left*, and besides, she suspected the pup would throw it all up in which case reconstituted dog-vomit cigarettes were always an option. To give to people she didn't like, anyway.
She carried Killer halfway towards her and Asriel's little spot on the beach and let her walk the rest. The puppy gambolled about her feet, and Adora decided that if she ended up putting a hole in her, it was her own fault for being stupid enough to yap at her very spiky heels.
While not overly concerned about life with an extra animal to take care of - people were just animals, really, when it came down to it, and she already had one of those and was doing all right, she thought - Adora Belle was slightly concerned about Asriel's reaction. Or, more specifically, Stelmaria's. She still didn't have a clue what the dæmon ate, and so it wasn't a great leap of the imagination to imagine her chowing down on Killer if she got peckish. Still, she thought it might be a good test to see if the wolfette could hold her own in the ring, so to speak.
Arriving at the little shelter near what could optimistically be called the construction site for Asriel's new premises, Adora looked around for the uppity Lord. No doubt he'd be around somewhere, or he'd turn up. For the time being...
Adora Belle heard a trickling sound from behind her. She turned around, and saw Killer widdling on a pair of Asriel's shoes.
"Good girl," she said, and smiled.
*By her usual standard, 'plenty' was a lifetime's supply, but in this case 'plenty' meant 'enough to last her through the month'. But she'd cross that bridge when she came to it.
It was the night before Hogswatch, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
There were a few things wrong with that sentence. Firstly, it was a compound, not a house, and secondly, several things were stirring - people, mainly - including one Adora Belle Dearheart, who found herself unable to sleep.
Also, she was fairly sure there weren't any mice.
She was in one of her rare good moods, however. Hogswatch (or Christmas, as she'd heard it called by some of the other residents) would be over in a matter of hours, which meant the decorations would then be taken down and everyone could forget about pretending to be jolly until it rolled around again next year. Adora Belle, of course, had remained largely unaffected by the festive season, but that didn't mean she couldn't be annoyed by it, which she was. A lot.
But there were precious few things on this island that didn't annoy her. As a matter of fact, she was looking for one at this particular moment. Well, not exactly looking; more wandering around hoping, in a roundabout way, that he would turn up.
She doubted she'd be able to miss him. A man followed around by a giant cat was not something one overlooked indoors.
The arrival of winter had driven almost all other considerations from Adora Belle Dearheart's mind. Besides everything, it meant that she could no longer sleep outside, unless she wanted to freeze to death. So, reluctantly, she had relocated to the Compound, though in deference to her nature she made sure to sleep in an unnoccupied room and to lock the door whenever she occupied it.
Today was a day like any other, which was to say, it began with an intense craving for a cigarette. She still had two left. She was angry - no, furious - that she had not purloined some tobacco from the plants growing on the island, because now they were gone, dead or dying. She was stuck with the last two and that meant she couldn't smoke them, because she was saving them for a rainy day. And that rainy day would, hopefully, never come.*
She contented herself with six cups of coffee for breakfast and relocated to a corner in the rec room where, if she had any luck - and if they had any common sense - nobody would bother her.
At least she had managed to avoid getting molested underneath the mistletoe this time.
*She didn't want to see the day after it, when she didn't have any cigarettes left.
There was a misshappen lump in Adora Belle's path.
She was on her way up to the compound to collect a thermos of coffee and perhaps a copy of that Bible she kept hearing so much about when she came across it. It looked like a log, if logs normally were that colour and snored. It was more probably a person, but Adora Belle chose not to recognize this and instead walked over it.
It was squidgy, and yielded to the press of her heels. Definitely a person.
"Whoops." She stepped off him - it was too large to be a woman, unless women in these parts were seriously abusing the near-endless supply of mangoes - taking extra care to tread on his head as she did so. Any idiot stupid enough to sleep out in the open like this was just asking for a good stomp, in her opinion.
She was quite glad she'd chosen to wear her heels today. The alternatives offered by the clothes box weren't nearly spiky enough.