A little dinner conversation

Meriele kept her gaze down and followed in the dancer's wake, trying not to be noticed. She did not notice the looks she was getting from the men nor would they been appreciated. She wasn't working so she hated the crowds. When she was working, they became objects that could be manipulated and not people. Now, she was the object.

Meriele looked at Brienna with a I can not sit down look. "If I may have a moment," she said to Brienna, in almost a near whisper. She moved to the side of a tent and looked to see if any one was looking. Not seeing any one, she removed the fresh oranges from her garments. Six in total.

She placed them in the front of her shirt and came back picking up a bowl and a wooden spoon she had stolen and started eating. One of the oranges rolled down into her lap. She wondered what they would be worth in the population. More so, she wondered how much protection she could get for fresh orange.

She looked at Dante quickly then too Brienna and back. She was a bit nervous and she wanted someplace safe to sleep.

She still spent more time looking down than at them, but she was scanning the camp taking in information, watching for cliques and boundary struggles. The guards would be doing the same thing.

She started to tell them what she had seen, "Most of the guards watching us are not that bright. It seems they are trying to break us by having us do hard labor. They want to create factions in the population so that we spend time our time fighting each other rather than them."
She took a bite of the stew then continues, "Over there are some more important prisoners," she pointed with her head to a separate camp that had some sort of shelters and guards with better weapon and armor.
"The inn keeper is nice. The quartermaster is an idiot and we might stave when winter comes if he manages things his way," she said. She hoped to be assigned to working with him.
"A couple tried to steal a knife from the kitchen, so they hung them by their wrists with their privates exposed. I think I could lower their ropes so they were not standing on tip toes," she said.
"It would take some sort of distraction and I am not sure that they will be able use their arms for a few months. So they are basically dead," she said.

She looked at Dante and said, "A couple guards have taken an interest in you. One said he wants to see you cry when they break you."

She started to peel an orange. "Not sure what they want to do to you, but it gave me a creepy feeling. You may be able to use that to your advantage." A couple of the prisoners that were guarding them turned to see where the smell was coming from.

She looked at Dante and said, "If you can dance or sing, the guards may use you as an entertainer." The implication being if you show enough skin the guards won't care if you can sing or dance with a body like yours. "The work would be lighter," she said.

By this point, Meriele felt somewhat safe when the other men were not looking at her. If she could gain their respect or get them to see her as a sister, she would be safe.

From a cluster of tents across the camp came the sound of women fighting each other. She shook her head.
"Better to be with men that protect you than to be in a group of women," she said wiping some juice from her chin. "Better to be a sheep adopted by the wolves.." she continued. She offered the two of them a chunk of the orange.

She looked up at them with a look like this was normal casual dinner conversation. She did not have a lot of street smarts, but she did notice things.

One of the guards had turned and was looking at her her like she had just come from some foreign country. Her looks and behavior did not match what he was listening in to. Meriele would let Dante deal with that. The man might make a good lieutenant, if he could keep his focus.

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