Those were the first words Ivana heard when she opened her eyelids, so heavy they felt like stones.
"It's common to traders who come through the jungle for the first time. I'm sorry I didn't think of it when I saw you. I would have insisted you come to the village to be cared for."
She opened her eyes to look for him, and he brushed her forehead with a rag that had been soaked in water. It wasn't precisely cool, but it was more pleasant than much of what she had felt here, and a tentative smile formed on her lips.
He answered her smile with a much wider one of his own. "I'm glad you came before it was too late. Dying of jungle fever, alone and hallucinating, cannot possibly be pleasant." He sat back and appeared to think before adding, "Well, I suppose that depends on the hallucinations."
She chuckled and was immediately surprised by it. It felt so human, not like the laughter of her people.
He chuckled too, reaching up to smooth her hair back as he wiped her forehead again.
She thought to rise, but he stopped her. "No, you should still rest."