After her dance, Mina had moved over to one of the food tables and started looking over what was available. As she was looking at the fruit and grabbing some strawberries, someone trailed their hand across her lower back. She glanced over her shoulder and heard Munir speak, "Oh mistress, how I've missed you."
She smirked at him as she picked up a strawberry. ”Good, just how I want it.”
She said to him before biting the strawberry and licking her lips. He moved on and she continued her task at hand of picking food.
Once she’d gotten what she wanted she moved to the side of the room and began eating. When she was finished, a masked figure approached her and handed her a letter. She thanked the man and quietly opened the letter. She read the contents and grinned as she tucked the contents away. As she did so it was announced that the second dance was to begin, but she didn’t move. If someone wished to dance with her then they would have to find her and ask.
Munir smirked at Mina’s response. When she bit into her strawberry, he reached out and took her hand and took the rest of the berry into his mouth before letting go. For the moment, Munir had moved away from her to mingle with his sisters and a lady in blue who had a slight accident from overeating it seems.
During this time, Munir got himself some finger food and took small sips from his wine skin, deciding to forgo the drinks they were serving. He just could not get used to what these Northerns drink regularly. As he was tucking his wine skin away in his waistband, it was announced that the second dance would begin soon. This dance was to be a ‘free-for-all’ it seems. Munir chuckled slightly as he definitely has his target in mind.
Lithely making his way through the crowd, spotting Mina through the drones of nobles present. There was another man who was speaking to her and asking her to dance. When he would reach her, he offered a proper Alidasht bow to the pair and addressed the other man sharply. “Sir, surely there is another lady that would gladly be your dance partner. I’m simply here to claim what was promised to me, what was given. This woman here is mine, you see.”
He added a small smirk to his words, one that dripped with poison. Munir then proceeded to pay the other man no mind, turning to Mina and said ”Lady Blackwood, may I have this dance?”
He would also right out his right hand in anticipation of her response.
Mina’s attention quickly turned to Munir, an odd sense of relief crossing her features as she went to take his hand. ”Um, excuse me, but I believe I was speaking to Lady Blackwood first. I’ll be damned if you were promised anything.”
The man began to object and Mina looked back at him. ”Oh I do apologize, Lord Vauthry, but as the Shahzade has pointed out he was promised this dance. So I’ll be damned if you think you have any right to me.”
A sweet smile never left her face, but her words dripped venom and the man looked baffled. She then turned back to Munir, taking his hand now, and allowing him to lead her to the dance floor.”It seems I may owe you now for rescuing me from that pig of a man. How can I ever thank you?”
She asked once they were far enough away, a playful smile on her face now. “Oh, were you? I’m sorry Lord Vaulty”
Munir said, making sure that he mispronounced the other noble’s name. “But quite simply, I don’t give a fuck who you were talking to before I got here.”
The tone switch must have been quite jarring for the other noble, for the expression on Munir’s face turned from his previous jovial, carefree look to one of quiet anger, as if another opportunistic predator is creeping up on his prey. “Now piss off back to whatever backwoods you spawned from, before you meet more of my dear friends…”
Munir said as he gently put a hand on the noble’s shoulder, a golden bracelet with an ornate scorpion on it.
As Munir and Mina made their way to the dancefloor, Munir chuckled slightly at Mina’s question about repayment. “Ah Lady Blackwood, you already know how. As for Lord Vauthry , he won’t be a bother anymore. I’m sure of it.”
Munir said as he shot two quick, inconspicuous glances at his personal bodyguards, notifying them of the other nobleman. Turning his attention back to Mina, and as the soft piano sounds filled the hall, Munir gracefully took Mina’s waist and began moving to the ethereal music of the second dance. “Though, as Lord Vauthry clearly has no rights to you, does that perhaps mean the right to claim you has already been taken by another?”
Munir quipped softly in Mina’s ear as the pair swayed slowly to the music.
Mina had taken note of Munir’s bracelet and found it quite interesting. The scorpion was quite the contrast to her own spider choker. She found it funny that they both favored those arachnids. ”Well I do truly appreciate your help and I’ll be sure I sufficiently make it up to you.”
She said as she followed his lead in the slow dance. At his next question she let out a small laugh and grinned mischievously at him. ”While there are a few like Vauthry that wish to claim me, none have succeeded in doing so. I won’t be claimed by a man…”
She then leaned in closer to him and softly said back to him, ”Because I’ll be the one to do the claiming.``”Oh, is that so?”
He quipped back at Mina’s answer as the pair spun slowly to the music. ”Would I be one of the ones you claim? Not that I would mind that very much. It would be a nice change of pace…
Munir said as he turned slightly and gave Mina a small dip. When she would stand back up, Munir quickly brushed some of the stray locks of hair behind Mina’s ear. With a small, light push, Munir extended his right arm, ‘pushing’ Mina out from where she was previously. Of course, Munir was cautious as to not throw her towards another pair of dancers. With a small tug, Munir ‘pulled’ Mina back towards him, this time placing his hand at the small of her back a bit more firmly than before. “Do tell me though…”
Munir practically whispered to Mina “What would it be like if I was to be claimed by you? Would you use me, ruthlessly? Would you lock me away from the world? Would I be the tool of your pleasure?”
Munir’s expression did nothing to hide the voracious fire that burned within him.
Mina followed his lead in the dance, allowing him to dip her and then unfurling out into an open position. "If I were to claim you…"
She began with a devilish grin on her face as she stepped in closer to him, pressing their bodies together. "I'd have you on your knees, worshiping me as a goddess."
She'd leaned in, speaking softly into his ear with a sultry voice. She then took a step back, resuming the proper distance of the dance.
Munir, along with Mina, continued to sway to the music, slowly. When Mina answered Munir’s question, it did nothing but further stoke the already raging fire. All Munir could do was offer a guttural, almost beast-like, grunt in reply. ”My my. How ever would you do that? I wonder…”
Munir quipped back. Continuing, he said ”But enough about what we both know is bound to happen later on this season. Tell me more about your home. Tell me more about yourself. Afterall, I’m not just some sort of animal. I have more on my mind than carnal desires.”
Munir took a small moment while Mina was formulating an answer to his question to study the room. There were other nobles dancing, of course. He also noticed some of the non-nobility had joined them in the dance as well. Being that this second dance was not prearranged. Of course, Munir spotted his siblings, all dancing at one point or another. Not to be outdone, Munir smirks slightly and added some Alidashtian flare into his steps.”Keep up, Lady Blackwood. Surely you’ve noticed my siblings dancing with their partners as well. We’re not to be outdone here.
Munir, ever jovial, let his competitive side shine through this one rare occasion.”I suppose you’ll just have to wait and find out.”
Mina said with a devilish grin in response to him asking how’d she get him on his knees. She enjoyed the flirtatious banter, but she was mildly surprised when he asked her to tell him more of her home. Was he truly curious? She took a moment to ponder this before opening her mouth to speak. ”My home is a place many in this ballroom would consider harsh and ugly, but to me it’s that harshness that makes it beautiful. We’re surrounded by snow capped mountains all year long and the sun rarely shines, but it fits the area. It’s cold most of the year, but we keep our homes cozy with a nice fire.”
She knew she probably wasn’t selling it, but to her it was her safe place. It wasn’t extravagant, but she loved it.
She was about to speak a bit more about herself when he told her to keep up and she let out a small laugh. ”I believe it is you that needs to keep up with me, dear Shahzade. Do you need a lesson in our northern dance?”
She teased him, but kept up with him easily. “Very interesting. I’ve only ever heard of this weather pattern called snow. As you know. My country is one of sun and sand…”
Munir responded back. Even though he is one of the royals, it was rare for him to have traveled so far, let alone even further North. “And to think, somewhere that some in this room will call harsh and ugly as produced a beauty such as yourself. I must make it a goal of mine to visit. Perhaps even ask you, my dear Lady Blackwood, as a guide, to see all there is to see in Kolonivka”
It didn’t matter how Mina described it. It genuinely interested Munir. Growing up, all he has know is the sands of Alidasht, and the occasional visit to the woods of Kisoma. But never snow, or mountains for that matter. “Is that a challenge, Lady Blackwood? I think you will find I’m a worthy partner, and in this case, student, to this Northern dance. So, if the music fits, please lead on.”
Munir said with a smirk. It is true, Munir fancies himself an above average dancer, one that learns quickly and eagerly. In the meantime, Munir kept their pace and movement to the waltz the music was meant to be paired with. “Come now, tell me more about Kolonivka. Surely snow and cold aren’t the only things you can talk about…”
Munir prodded on, waiting for Mina to add on to what she said previously.”I do love a good challenge, don’t you?”
She asked teasingly as she took some control of the dance. While it wasn’t traditional by any means for a woman to lead the dance, she wasn’t about to pass up the challenge. ”Prepare to dip me.”
She instructed, waiting for him to do so before continuing on with talking.”Also I would be happy to be your guide, then I can keep you warm if you get too cold.”
Mina responded with a small giggle and devilish grin, but she found her heart warming a little to Munir as she picked up on his genuine interest in her home. It was nice to know there was more to this man than just flirtatiousness and desire. ”Oh there are a great many things I can talk about regarding Kolonivka. Like the people are warm and welcoming. Someone will always invite you in and offer you a nice hot bowl of stew. We all care for each other, we’re like one big family.”
The love and adoration of her people was clear in the way Mina spoke of them. She smiled softly to herself as she thought of her home. After a moment of silence she was pulled back to the present as she realized she was still dancing.”And what of yourself and your home? I’ve read of Alidasht in books, but I’ve never been there. I’d love to visit at some point, though.”
She asked, genuine curiosity of her own shining in her eyes. “Oh definitely. I love a challenge.
Munir quipped back, matching her energy. Munir then allowed his body to relax even further, letting Mina take the lead. When she asked him to dip her, he replied “Yes, ma’am.
and slid his right arm to the small of her back and swung her down towards the ground. In one smooth motion, he brought her back up so she was standing. “Keep me warm huh. I think I’ll have enough furs with me for that. Perhaps you can join me inside those furs.
Munir responded. “A guide would be most welcome though, seeing as I would be as lost as new born camel in the great vast sands.”
When Mina talked more about Kolonivka, the genuine smile on Munir’s face was evident. The way she spoke of her people showed Munir that there was more to this woman than her outer appearance. She genuinely cared for her subjects, the same thing cannot be said about many of the other nobles present. [color= ffce00] “One big family, huh. That would be interesting to see…” [/color] Munir allowed his voice to trail off. The idea of commoners not bowing and immediately backing away whenever he approached was very novel to him. It is something he has never experience. “Ah Glorious Alidasht. What can I say. Sun, sands, warmth, to be simple about it. Though not as approachable as your people, as it would sound anyways, the people of Alidasht are as prideful of their country as any in the lands. They understand how to exist with nature, to take what she gives and making the most of it, since there usually isn’t much. Sure there is the wooded area of Kisoma to the Northwest, but that is only a small piece of the country. Most of it is quite barren, I must say. Though, that has bred toughness, and resourcefulness, over the years. The palace is, of course, as grand as any in the lands, if not more so. You must come visit the Hanging Gardens, an architectural marvel in itself. Father explained it to me as the creation of some genius engineers by the order of one of my forefathers to appease his queen who has apparently come from a land far more green than our own. The royal bathhouses isn’t bad either. Somehow, some engineers centuries ago were able to figure out how to route fresh water from the coasts to the royal palace, and keeping it cool in the process. We have our own private reservoir of cool water whenever we should need it.”
Munir paused, noting that he has been blathering on. “I’m going to stop myself there. I can’t reveal all of our secrets and pleasures without you paying us a visit yourself. When you do visit, I’ll be sure to guide you through them all.
This next part was kept in Munir thoughts, and not spoken, “And maybe I can see just what exactly are you hiding underneath that ball gown you’re wearing right now… ”Or you could just join me under the furs on my bed.”
Mina said with a wink and then a giggle escaped her. He went on to talk about Alidasht and she listened in wonder, having always been quite intrigued by the place. ”How about I make you a deal? If you come visit me and my home then I’ll come visit you. Then we can show each other the wonders of our home. Does that sound fair?”
She asked, a genuine smile on her face, finding as the conversation went on she liked Munir more and more. There was just something about him that was drawing her in and she couldn’t quite figure it out. Did she dare allow herself to get closer to this man? Only time would tell.”Oh! I wanted to inform you that there will be a…well, a secret after party tonight. It is required to leave all titles at the door, in case you were interested. I’d be happy to give you the details as I feel you’d really enjoy it. Besides, it’ll be a good way to learn more about this country.”
She said, her voice lowered so that only he could hear her. “We can save that for after the tour through Kolonivka…”
Munir replied, offering her a small chuckle. Munir noticed the music was starting to wind down. For one reason or another, he did not want the dance to end. Munir had been with countless women in his past, both nobles and commoners. However, he found himself irresistibly drawn to the woman in his arms right now. There was just something about her. She does not cower in his presence. She does not simply submit to his words. She lets herself shine through, despite Munir’s ‘radiance’. All that was new to him, and oh so attractive. Its was like placing a lit torch in the dark night, and Munir was the moth.
Munir listened to Mina’s proposal. Of course he was going to accept. There was no way he would decline that. He had been meaning to visit the Northern kingdom for some time now. This would not alter his plans at all, only enhance it. However, for the time being as the dance approached it’s end, Munir simply smiled. Mina also seemed to have presented him with an invitation to a party at the end of the ball. It was only logical for Munir to make an appearance there. It would be outside of his character if he didn’t go.
As the dance concluded, Munir released his hold on Mina and took a small step back. Offering her a proper Caesonia bow. Beneath the bow, he unclasped a small golden scorpion ornament that was clipped to his waist. He stepped up to Mina, took her hand and kissed the back of it softly. In one smooth motion, he stepped slightly closer to her and whispered “That is a deal. I’ll plan a visit to Kolonivka immediately. I wish I could depart and take you with me right this second, but, as you know, duty calls…”
As he was close to Mina, he reached up swiftly but gently and clipped the small scorpion ornament to the top curve of Mina’s right ear. Continuing to whisper “With that, I claim you as mine…”
Munir offered a small wink “I’ll be looking for you at this party you spoke of, Mina.
Stepping back to a more ‘respectable’ distance, Munir spoke up in a more normal volume “Lady Blackwood, I thank you for the pleasure of this dance. I bid you farewell.”
With that Munir stepped back and away from Mina, fading away into the crowd.