Oh, how I hated the first rays of sun. When they struck my face, I attempted to cover my face with my bedroll. No, not yet. I didn't want to wake just yet. As I succumbed to daylight's wishes and decided to get up, I wondered why the sun couldn't grant me even an hour of peace.
I sighed in exasperation and sat up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes groggily. Beside me in another bedroll lay my cruel master, the chief of the bandit group that had found and captured me. Seeing that I was a disciple of Dibella, the chief had claimed me as his bedslave, thus keeping me up all night while he slept the day away. As I glared and sent mental daggers into the side of his head, he rolled over onto his side, away from me, and snored loudly.
How I hated that man. If I could, I would kill him mercilessly with my bare hands. But if I did do that, I'd be made into a pincushion by the other bandits. No, unable to run from or rebel in the bandit camp, I was trapped here as a captive prostitute. I was not allowed a single shred of dignity.
When anyone was awake, that is.
So I got up and covered my bare, bruised body with what was left of my humble dress. I looked into a nearby bucket of water to see my reflection. My long black hair, from the sheer amount of tangles and knots, had not seen a comb in weeks. My messy bangs half-covered sleep-deprived brown eyes ringed with dirt and smudged, faded kohl. I looked at the gaunt, emaciated face that was my own and held back tears. My body was going to be merely skin and bones if I didn't get a proper meal soon. Very soon. How I missed home, where I knew at the least food and sleep!
After I was somewhat presentable (as presentable as I could be, really) I stood and exited the tent. In the center of the ring of tents a small fire had already been prepared. Crouching next to the flames was one of the bandits, prodding it with a stick. He heard my bare feet crunch in the snow and looked back at me in surprise. He was a dunmer, a very strange one, for he had the bright blue eyes and braids of typical Skyrim nord. As he looked me over, his eyes sent shivers down my spine. The red eyes of the dunmer startled me already; one with blue eyes just seemed plain wrong to me. After he finished examining me he turned back to the fire and tossed his stick to the flames. He acted as if I wasn't there. No surprise, really.
Nonetheless, I crept closer to the fire. Not for company, of course, but for warmth against the bitter cold of an early Skyrim winter. Once I reached a comfortable level of heat, I turned my back to the fire and hugged my knees to my chest.
"Hungry?" the dunmer said unexpectedly, not looking at me, but at the flames. To be honest, I wasn't sure if he was even talking to me. And even if he was, he would most likely do what all the other bandits did to feed me: grind it into the dirt first. Whenever it was mealtime, whatever food they didn't want they threw to me to eat like a dog, but only allowed me to eat after they had squished it into the dirt first. I felt ashamed to do it, to eat those filthy morsels, but the need to survive usually overcame my pride. But this bandit, I remembered as I placed his strange, elvish face, didn't like to play. Or laugh or talk or even act human. He stood, sat, slept, ate and fought like a machine. I doubted he had any emotions. "Are you hungry?" he repeated mechanically, this time staring me down. I didn't grace him an answer. No matter what I said, the bandit would just fling whatever scraps he felt like giving me into the mud.
But he did not. He merely shrugged at my silence and reached into his pack for a loaf of bread. He sliced off the heel with his dagger and eyed it for a moment before throwing it into the fire. I suppressed a gasp when the flames consumed the perfectly good morsel. Oh, how hungry I was... and he was throwing food into the fire! Wasting it! But no, I would not eat another meal from the ground. Do what he will, even if I had to starve, I would no longer be the entertainment of filthy bandits. I wouldn't be their dog any longer. So I stared at him coolly, daring him to do it again.
Seeing my defiance, he sliced off another piece of bread, this time placing a thin slice of goat cheese on top of it. He held it up for me to see and raised a dark, bushy eyebrow. I did nothing. He deserved nothing, after all. And the succulent meal went to the fire. This time a barely audible groan escaped my lips. Since the dunmer evidently possessed no emotion, I could not tell as to whether or not he had heard me.
He did the process twice more, each time adding something to the bread to make it more appealing and appetizing, and I became horribly angry at him. He was teasing me terribly well and we both knew it.
Finally, when he displayed a thick slice of bread with a generous chunk of cheese on it, I spat, "If you throw that in the fire, I'll smack you." The dunmer said nothing and kept his blank expression. I was fuming and quite ready to pick up a rock and beat the brains out of that pretty elf skull of his with it. Suddenly, he took a large bite out of the bread slice. Before I could lunge for a nearby stone, he held the remaining loaf and cheese wedge out to me. I didn't understand.
"Take them," the elf said, taking another bite out of his breakfast. Furious and embarrassed by his trick, I quickly snatched them away from him before he could change his mind. "Zher ya go," he said, mouth full of food, "Zhat wasn't too hahrd." His eerie blue eyes laughed at me.