The next few days were rather peaceful at the burrow. The man had become much more cooperative with keeping his fiery gaze away from her, and it did not seem to be out of spite or embarrassment anymore. Whatever the reason, Sylvia was relieved by these developments to say the least. Although she was still mindful of his past inappropriate action towards her, she had come to the conclusion that it must have been some sort of misunderstanding. After all, he had not tried to touch her again in any way since then, nor had he looked at her lustfully even once. He seemed to be a good sort of man, and she wanted nothing more than to give him the benefit of the doubt. So as long as he kept his distance, she could forgive him just this once.
The man's condition also started to improve over the days, with his stitches nearly healing over again. He could not seem to help but cough from time to time though, a sign that made Sylvia worry about potential sickness. She supposed she would just have to keep a close eye out for a fever.
"Jara gule?" (Your name?) he asked, acting a bit more talkative than usual.
Sylvia just gazed at him with confusion, not understanding his sudden inquiry. He seemed very determined to get an answer from her however, and persisted with his question.
"Jara gule?" (Your name?) he asked again.
She frowned, feeling at a loss to his meaning.
"I do not understand," she confessed, using her arms to convey confusion.
He smiled and pointed a finger at himself. "Keil,” he said, pronouncing the word slowly.
Then he pointed to her.
"Jara gule?" (Your name?) he repeated once more.
Sylvia blushed, surprised by his interest in her identity. She debated silently on whether she should tell him her name or not, but his eyes looked so eager for an answer that she gave in. "Sylvia," she replied, pointing at herself.
"Ah, Sylvia!" he said slowly, pronouncing her name as best he could. She blushed wildly and turned away to fiddle with something, hoping he had not seen her redden. His language and manner of speaking sounded so beautiful, even when saying her plain old name.
"Sylvia?" he called out, pronouncing it better the second time.
She turned, not showing her whole face. "Yes?"
"Lu wana yu," (You are beautiful) he said gently.
Sylvia tried to recall if she had heard these words before, but found she had not.
"I do not understand," she said, at a loss again.
Keil slowly smiled, a somewhat smug expression on his face. For the very first time it seemed he was not interested in communicating the meaning of his words to her.
"Show me what you mean, I do not understand!" she repeated, using the same hand gesture.
He chuckled and shook his head. "Sylvia, lu wana yu," (Sylvia, you are beautiful.) he taunted.
She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Keil, you are being very rude," she retorted. His eyes widened with curiosity at her words, and she smiled back at him in a smug way. "See how you like it."
He suddenly laughed at her in a lighthearted way, looking like he was enjoying himself, though neither of them understood much of what the other had said. Sylvia just rolled her eyes with aggravation. She was glad he seemed more relaxed around her now, at least. It was almost hard to imagine how guarded he had been not too long ago, back when he tried to stab her and fight her at every turn.
She snickered at the memories. It was nice, having someone to keep company with who made her feel welcome. No one back at the village ever made her feel that way, not even the others she worked and lived alongside. Yet this strange man, with his cold expressions and fiery eyes, somehow put her worries at ease.
"Sylvia?" Keil called again.
He motioned for her to come over, which she did. Then he held up his hand and gestured for hers. She held it up next to his, curious as to what he was trying to figure out. Without warning he grabbed it, gently lacing his fingers through hers, examining the sight of their two hands with interest.
"Sylvia, lu wana yu," (Sylvia, you are beautiful) he whispered softly.
For a moment Sylvia sat there stunned, watching as he stroked her hand with his fingers. She wanted to yank herself away and slap him, but his gentle expression put her fears at rest somehow. She wondered, was this perhaps some kind of handshake among his people, or maybe a thankful gesture for her help? Then after a brief moment, he pulled his hand back, and she examined his face for an answer. He flashed a satisfied grin but said nothing.
"Well, I had better be going now..." she said, feeling a bit dizzy.
He nodded, having come to understand her good-byes.
"Sleep well,” she mumbled.
The whole way home Sylvia pondered over his words and gestures that day, completely at a loss over it all.