That night, Sylvia lay in bed, wide awake, gazing out the window with worry. She had indeed been able to slip back into the house and finish her work without anyone noticing her longer than usual absence after lunch, but all day and night her thoughts had once again been consumed with the stranger in the woods. She worried about his stitches breaking, whether he was still hungry, and if he would be able to recover well enough out there alone. Besides all that, it was rather cold tonight, colder than she had been expecting. The man had only his leather jacket for a covering, and she wondered at it being enough. Dare she try to take him a blanket at this hour? If she got caught sneaking out by one of the chief workers she would be in big trouble. However, if she left the man out there in the cold, his condition might worsen.
Sylvia tried to ignore her own worries, tossing and turning in bed restlessly that night. After a while it became clear that sleep would remain impossible at this rate, so she decided to go and take the injured man a blanket to ease her mind. Ideally, if she was careful, no one would notice her movements, but she still had to move fast. So as quietly as she could, Sylvia grabbed one of the spare covers from the closet and left out the house's back door, heading towards the forest trail. It was very cold outside now, with frosty dew coating the leaves of the trees. She rubbed her arms for warmth as her instincts eventually led her in the right direction, despite the surrounding darkness. When she reached the burrow, she approached quietly, not wanting to wake the man as she entered. As she crawled in and neared his body, he turned to her with a shout, causing her to jump back with surprise. Again.
"Relax, it's just me!" she said, her heart beating loudly with fright.
The man's red eyes glowed in the darkness like a wild animal's, gazing at her dangerously. After a moment, though, they seemed to calm as he examined her silently, looking extremely curious about her late-night return.
"I did not mean to wake you, I just thought you might be cold..." Sylvia explained aloud, as if he could understand her.
Then she slowly laid the blanket atop him, gently tucking it in under his sides for insulation. She could feel his body trembling from the cold and found herself feeling relieved that she had come after all. It seemed her worries had been justified in the end.
"Mana lu me ah?" (Why are you doing this?) the man asked quietly.
Sylvia gazed into his eyes with confusion, not having any idea of what he had said. She liked to imagine it was some kind of thank you.
"I must go again, but I will be back again tomorrow, sir," she replied. Then she departed, racing back to the house through the cold darkness.
It was almost noon the next day before she found a chance to break away from her group again to check on him. She made sure to bring another piece of bread and some drink for the man so he could regain his strength. Sylvia walked a bit slower today, feeling quite weary from her outing the night before. She had fallen asleep as soon as she had arrived home, but it had not been as restful as she would have liked. It's not like running out to the forest a few times a day to care for an injured man, who enjoyed fighting back and making everything more difficult, was an easy feat to add to her already burdensome work days. She was absolutely exhausted!
As Sylvia came to the familiar burrow, she knelt down and examined the man within, thankful to hear he was still sleeping. She entered quietly and stopped to examine his weary face. His eyes had dark bags under them. It looked as if he was not resting properly. Right now, however, he looked quite relaxed and peaceful, more so than she had ever seen before. When she approached to check his bandages, he still did not stir, his slumber appearing very deep.
What about the food she had brought him, though? She did not want to wake him from such a rest, but she did not want to leave without giving him something to eat either. Though leaving it behind would do little good if he knew nothing of it…
Sylvia sighed at his sleeping state, deciding to wait around for a while to see if the man would wake up on his own. That way she could feed him and leave quickly before her absence became too noticeable.