"No not that one, the other one."

"This one?"

"No, the little dude with theā€”mind if I just pick him up?"

"Tortoises dislike being handled that way. Cup your hand by him and let him approach first. See? Like this."

"You really got a way with the beasts, miss."

She giggled. "What made you want a tortoise anyway?"

Ash felt her death date like a hammer in his heart. "They got real long lifespans."