They slept until well past noon, when they were awakened again by the beating sun and their desperate thirst. Ravi did not look well at all, and Cat figured that she probably looked worse than he did.
Ravi sat up in the ditch and wiped his sweaty face. "We're going to die here, aren't we?" he asked the sky.
"Don't say that, Ravi. We're almost there, aren't we?"
He drew his swollen tongue over his bleeding lips and closed his eyes. "There's no point."
"What happened to Mister Look-On-The-Bright-Side?"
Ravi swore beneath his breath and opened his eyes again. "Oh, I'm looking on the bright side all right. The bright side is that we won't die of rabies."
They heard another car approaching.
"I have a better idea," Cat told him.
"Oh? You have a plan to save our pitiful little lives now?"
"No, but a better way to end them. Come on."
They dragged themselves out of the ditch and onto the road. "What now?"
"We stand here. And wait."
They could see the car now, trundling toward them. "I get it," said Ravi with a grim smile, putting his arm around her shoulders.
Patiently, they waited for the bullets that would end their thirst.
The car slowed. Still they waited, eyes closed."
The car stopped. There was a moment's pause. They heard a door open.
"Well, are you two getting in or aren't you?"
Ravi's eyes snapped open and he grinned deliriously. "You came back for me. I knew you would." And he fell, unconscious, to the ground.
The driver got quickly out of the car and stepped toward them hesitantly. He wore a broad-brimmed hat that cast his face in shadow. "What was that about? He hasn't been bitten, has he?"
"No," Cat replied hoarsely.
The man knelt beside him, then, as if on impulse, brushed aside the hair that had fallen across Ravi's face. "Oh. My. God."
The man had begun to laugh quietly. He did not seem to hear Cat, rather proceeding to pull Ravi into the shadow of the car without answering. Leaving Ravi on the ground, he went around to the trunk and returned with two bottles of water. One he gave to Cat. The other he opened and began to pour slowly on Ravi's face. "Rise and shine, guapo."
Ravi awoke, sputtering. His eyes fluttered open. "Benny?"