A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #35088  by Nananji Zaman
 
And against her better judgement, she did.

Unlike Rasima or some of the younger girls that kept company with the vampire in the evening hours, Nananji was quiet and introspective and her attire usually matched. She had changed from her evening clothes into a more suitable set of robes knowing what company she would be in, but she had lingered a little longer than usually in front of the mirror before pinning up her hijab.

She knew that the hotelier had not planned to be with her that night, but she had taken great pains to wear her scarf loose as she waited in her room, with a few stray locks of hair framing her face. It was a gesture she afforded to no one else, but the opportunity had passed for both of them. Now she satiated her loneliness by entering the creature's suite after a soft double knock on the door, still feeling nervous about letting herself in even though she had been told it was alright and had been invited over.

What would this other woman think of her? And this man?

She knew of Alexandros, of course, but her memories of him were few. So much had happened over the past several years, a thought that Nananji had to wrestle from her brain as she tried to focus on her evening prayers before heading down the hall.

"Salam alaikum," Nananji offered gently, lowering her head in respect.
 #35092  by Nikolaos Alexandros
 
"Wa-alaykum-salaam," Nikolaos greeted in response, holding his hand to his heart as he bowed his head in turn. The woman seemed somewhat familiar, though it was difficult to place. They must have done some business together in the past, but what?

He afforded a glance back to Rasima, who had so quickly transformed the room and her attire. As someone who specialized in Transfiguration himself, he was impressed by her work. He pulled out a chair for her to take her seat.
 #35094  by al-Rumha
 
"Nanji, my dear," the vampire greeted his favorite companion with a warm smile. He loved his women, as well as his men, but every few centuries there was someone who truly stood out from all of the others. Rasima may have had the beauty to make any woman-loving man lust for her and an intellect to make most of them seem simple in contrast, but Nananji had something that called to him in a way nothing else did. She possessed the siren's song that could lead him to ruin, and he did not care in the slightest.

"Thank you for joining us," like Nikolaos, he pulled out a chair to offer her so she could sit.
 #35095  by Rasima al-Farsi
 
"Always a pleasure to spend an evening with you, sister," Rasima greeted the other woman. As they all prepared to take their seats, a bell sounded, and a moment later plates of food appeared on the table: pita, hummus, dates, mutton, all spread out in the center of the table for them to grab.

"And what perfect timing."
 #35100  by Nananji Zaman
 
The entire situation may have been the slightest bit strange, but Nananji was used to strange by now. After all, she was the preferred companion of a man who had lived centuries before Nananji's ancestors had even thought to be born, and her contract-born marriage was now something else entirely even if it still carried the same weight. Still, she smiled politely and took her seat, giving her host an expression that may have been unreadable to the others present.

Even so, when she turned back to the small party there was a small smile on her lips. She felt her mouth water at the smell of the meal; she had not eaten much yet that evening as she had lazed around her apartment in the tower and the pita and hummus would be a welcome treat after such a long day.

"Thank you for having me," Nananji responded politely, her smile growing.

"I am only sorry that I interrupted your meeting. It was unintentional, I assure you."
 #35163  by al-Rumha
 
"Never apologize for such a thing," he told her with a smile.

"Any meeting could only be enriched by your presence. For example, I was just telling our recently resurrected friend here how a partnership could be beneficial to him in bringing his company back to its former glory and beyond anything Akrisios would have dared."
 #35173  by Nananji Zaman
 
That answered a lot of questions.

Still, she had more questions than answers.

"You could do much worse for having an advisor," Nananji smiled at the young man, but only in a polite way. "Rais al-Rumha has many connections both within our region and without, many of which I am sure you are aware. And I imagine you must also understand that growth, economically, must require some fortitude and forward thinking."
 #35181  by Nikolaos Alexandros
 
"I would say I have some history in that regard," he commented as he gathered food.

"My choice to expand further into the Black Sea, for example, was not what most would call conservative, and it resulted in more than a scolding from Akrisios, but it was showing promising returns while I was overseeing the region."
 #35182  by Nananji Zaman
 
The Moroccan woman nodded sagely, a small smile still playing at her lips.

"Sometimes we must make decisions that can be perceived as strange or unwise from others, if we can be certain in our hearts it will be for the greater good, or at least for the greater good of ourselves. Do you plan to push toward the Black Sea again? Or have your employees managed some small hold still in your absence?"
 #35185  by Nikolaos Alexandros
 
"We continue to maintain a presence in several critical ports," Nikolaos answered.

"There is some housekeeping that needs to be dealt with first, but once that is behind us, we can consider further expansion in the region. As we control from Constanta through the Danube Delta, as well as much of Istanbul, I'm more concerned with preserving what we have than overreaching."
 #35188  by Rasima al-Farsi
 
"I would recommend securing your warehouses nonmagical systems, in addition to the highest quality charms I am certain you already make extensive use of. Our kind tend to underestimate what such things are capable of, but I assure you, a video record of any invasion of one of your properties will be worth more than viewing a witness's memory."

Rasima tore apart a piece of pita before dipping it in the hummus.

"I highly recommend the firm we use for the technology, and I would be more than happy to consult on where and how best to install cameras and other countermeasures."
 #35197  by al-Rumha
 
"Indeed, the sleeping sheep have dreamed up some very inventive solutions to their inadequacies," the vampire chimed in after Rasima. He had begun to lose focus on the conversation, his eyes drifting to Nananji. He was nearly ready to remove everyone but her from the suite and enjoy a dinner of his own.

"But, the hour does grow late. Nikolaos, you are of course welcome to a complimentary room should you wish to spend the night. I imagine you must have more business to attend to in the morning."
 #35203  by Nananji Zaman
 
Nananji had almost lost the thread of the conversation herself, though more from growing weary at the late hour than from anything else. Her stomach was as full as her thoughts, and it was not until she caught the creature looking in her direction that she snapped back to attention. The hour grew late, indeed.

"As Rais al-Rumha says, we can happily provide you with the view of your choice as well," Nananji smiled. Though her employer had changed over the past year or so her title had not, and her duties behind the scenes were secondary to her responsibilities to the resort in and of itself, and if the young man was showing any sign of hesitation she saw it as her personal duty to counter it.

"And of course I am happy to personally see to any other accommodations or company you may request throughout your stay as well, Mister Alexandros. We want nothing short of the very best for our most honored and respected guests here at Burj Al Harba."

Her smile broadened as she slipped easily into the tone of a seasoned hotelier and produced a thin turquoise business card with her personal contact information, or at least as personal as she was willing to give the highest ranking guests. She slid it across the table, careful to lift her fingers from the cardstock before Nikolaos had a chance to reach for it.

"There is a representative from Ovinnik Ores who will be touring our executive meeting rooms tomorrow afternoon. Should I inform him that you would like to join him for lunch on the east terrace?"
 #35205  by Nikolaos Alexandros
 
He should have been returning home that evening. The vampire had been correct about business, but then here was Nananji already setting up business lunches for him the next day. He needed a new assistant terribly, and it was too bad he doubted he could get al-Rumha to part with her. He pick up her business card and tucked it into his breast pocket.

"I will just need use of an owl to notify my family of the change of plans," he finally conceded after a long moment's thought.
 #35206  by Rasima al-Farsi
 
Rasima rose from her chair and stood behind Nikoloas, putting her hands on his shoulders. She gave al-Rumha a very pointed look.

"I will see to his needs this evening," she said. Or more the other way. As they said their goodnights, she gathered a few of the remaining dates, leaving a handful behind for Nananji, before ushering her companion out to her own private suite.