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Hospitality? Not. Mostly. (Or, Lailya's Current Whereabouts)
((Note: Heya, everyone! Sorry for my recent absence - finally got a job around the middle of July, and it's been hectic for me ever since, especially since I get a lot of evening shifts. My job working the front desk at a local beach resort, however, also makes an excellent reason for why Lailya is currently AWOL from the guild hall. Might post more hospitality-related hi-jinks later on when I have the time, so keep an eye out!))

Albacore Retreat was an island located off the southeastern edge of Kezan and a popular vacation spot for many a goblin - though anyone of any race who had the time and the money could be found on the South Seas' premier holiday destination. The Steamwheedle and Bilgewater Cartels outright owned or had a majority share in many of the businesses and hotels on the Retreat, and with so many upper class visitors, the cartels made sure to maintain the island's reputation as a fun, friendly, legal place - to surprising success. Anise, the main port, contained the lion's share of the Retreat's hotels, restaurants, and commercial districts, but resorts were also located in other small villages on the island.

White Sands was one of those resorts, a small, quiet place on the southern side of the Retreat, on the outskirts of the bustling fishing village of Sorrel. Unlike most of the island's resorts, White Sands was wholly owned and run by the Goldwater family and had been since first built as a pearl farm when Albacore Retreat was first settled. The resort was located on the edge of a private cove with huge stretches of pristine white beaches, had its own bar and restaurant on site, and offered various activities and entertainment throughout the day and well into the night. This, plus reasonable nightly rates, kept loyal (and rich) visitors coming back to White Sands year after year, which in turn allowed the old and ornery Goldwater patriarch, Jax, to tell the cartel representatives to get the hell off his property.

(It helped that Goldwater's youngest daughter, Sazai, was an eccentric genius employed by both the Tinkers' the Alchemists' Unions who regularly dumped large percentages of the profits from her inventions into the family vault and could ask her bosses to politely tell the Trade Princes to sniff around someone else's business, please and thank you.)

At the start of this season, however, White Sands had been short-staffed in pretty much all departments. It had been relatively easy to find new bellmen, maids, and waiters among the unemployed young adults of Sorrel looking for a summer job, but it'd been harder to find anyone qualified to help run the front desk. Luckily for White Sands, Sazai had...connections. And an extensive information network.

Also, blackmail.

Which led to the current situation of one Lailya Lunamortis, White Sands Front Office Manager (temporarily, anyway), fighting to keep her temper under control as she explained to the gnome before her, for the twentieth time, that they absolutely could not give him a late checkout the next day.

"Sir, I again apologize for the inconvenience, but you must be out of the room by 11 AM," the blood elf said.

The gnome puffed up, the ends of his oversized mustache bristling. "Unacceptable! I'm paying sixty gold for the night, and I won't even be here for a full twenty-four hours. I have my elderly mother with me and my leg is still in a cast! I need more time!"

'You could just wake up early, lazy maggot,' Lailya thought to herself. Out loud, she said, "Mr. Wrenchfizzle, I can't budge on the time. We're booked completely full, otherwise I would be more than happy to move you into a room that wasn't booked for tomorrow night. However, there is another guest checking into your room tomorrow, and the room needs to be cleaned before that. I could write a note for our head housekeeper to delay cleaning the room until noon, maybe, but that's it."

"Noon? Unacceptable! I should have been informed of the check out time when I made the reservation! Completely unacceptable, else I wouldn't have bothered coming here at all. The way this place is run-"

'Aaaand here we go.'

Lailya's eye spasmed noticeably as the gnome launched right into a long-winded rant, before she flicked her gaze over to Azzy. The eldest of the Goldwater grandchildren, Azzy was still learning the ins and outs of the hospitality industry, but she'd been doing remarkably well for only being on the job for a month or so. Azzy, standing behind the front desk and out of Wrenchfizzle's sight, caught the glance Lailya sent her way and rolled her eyes in response, throwing up her hands in frustration as well. She'd been the one to book the reservation, and Lailya clearly recalled overhearing the young goblin explain the check-out procedure over the communication spell last night, which was standard policy. Wrenchfizzle was just complaining to complain.

At least the lobby was otherwise empty. Small mercies.

Well, almost empty.

Slouched in a plush chair in the lobby's corner, nearly hidden by a tall potted plant, was a male goblin, wrinkled with age and gone bald. With his eyes closed and his hands folded over a generous stomach, he looked like nothing more than a venerable elder taking a quick nap in a comfortable spot.

Jax Goldwater did take the occasional nap when things got slow, but otherwise he preferred to keep an unobtrusive eye on the goings-on in his lobby.

The gnome, meanwhile, was finally winding down. "-and is completely and utterly unacceptable! The service here is deplorable! You expect me to pay for such disrespect? Unacceptable!"

'You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.'

"I will be taking my business elsewhere, where hard-earned gold is respected!"

Out of the corner of her eye, Lailya saw Mr. Goldwater move. His eyes were open, and narrowed at the gnome. The corner of his lips curled up in a sneer, and he made a chopping motion with one hand; translated, Mr. Goldwater had quite clearly said, "Get this scum out of my hotel." Azzy sagged with relief and Lailya fought to suppress a vicious grin.

Instead of smirking, Lailya plastered a pleasant if disappointed expression on her face. "That is, of course, your decision, sir. I'm sorry we couldn't do anything more for you."

Wrenchfizzle sniffed, then turned and stormed out of the lobby. The blood elf kept the benign look on her face until the lobby door was slammed shut.

Lailya lifted her hands up to eye level and curled her fingers into claws, making a throttling motion as she began swearing in both Thalassian and Orcish. Azzy slumped into her chair and rested her forehead on the desk, sighing heavily, as Karza Sparkwhistle and Quinzel Tinsnip, their eyes almost comically wide, peered out from the safety of the office.

Mr. Goldwater leaning back in his chair and snorted as he closed his eyes. "Gimme, gimme, gimme. That's all that type is about. Waste of air."

Lailya muttered her agreement as she slunk back behind the desk. White Sands could afford to lose a guest every now and then, but not often, and this had just rankled. Idiot hadn't even tried to be reasonable.

The roar of one of the island's motorized taxis suddenly filled the lobby, followed by a harsh screeching sound as it skidded to a stop in the front. Karza and Quinzel nearly tripped over each other in their hurry to do something that would keep them out of sight in the office and Azzy groaned as she started to stand up again. Lailya gestured for her to stay seated as she got to her own feet, and the goblin gave her a grateful look before snagging a pile of registration cards for the next day's arrivals to double check.

The lobby door opened and a human couple walked in, exhaustion clear on their features. The man carried a travel bag in each hand and had a third slung over his shoulder; the woman carried a sleeping girl in her arms. As they approached the front desk, Lailya put on a welcoming smile and said, "How can I help you this evening?"

The woman returned the smile hesitantly. "We're so sorry to barge in like this, but we missed the last ferry back to Edj and we were hoping you might have a room for the night. We haven't had much luck anywhere else."

Albacore Retreat had two main ferry services to Kezan: the one between Anise and Bilgewater Port, and the one between Sorrel and Edj. Likely they'd been visiting Edj on some sort of business on behalf of the Blackwater Raiders (nothing too shady if they'd felt safe enough bringing their daughter), and decided to visit the Retreat for the day, which wasn't as unusual as the rich twits who stayed at resorts for weeks at a time would like to think. Lailya's smile became a little more genuine and sympathetic. "Unfortunately, it happens; you're not the first that's gone through that particular situation. And you're in luck! We do have a room available for tonight-"

Before she'd even begun to speak, she'd momentarily flicked her gaze in Mr. Goldwater's direction. The old goblin held up one finger, then five, and finally made a thumbs up sign before settling in for an actual nap.

'Twisting Nether, I'm no goblin and even I think that's obscene. Old softie.'

"-and there is a special discount on it for the night, fifteen gold total including taxes."

The husband sighed with obvious relief as his wife beamed as she shifted her daughter in her arms to a more comfortable position. "We'll take it! Oh, thank you so much, I was so worried we wouldn't find a place to stay at at all."

Lailya smiled as she grabbed a blank registration form and pen. "It's no problem at all, ma'am, we're happy to help when we're able. Now, I'll just need you to fill in a few things for me..."
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