Syl lounged on a couch and watched the screen depict the alien space craft that darkened the sky. If he looked outside he could see it too, but the tv was able to zoom and show details he couldn't spot from a window.
The layers of white metal that looked almost delicate, but couldn't be, and the windows that rippled like water or a mirage. The ship had loomed above earth for three days now.
The first day the aliens descended a panicked soldier had fired and half the human army was extinguished in moments. The rest of the men quickly retreated.
The aliens demanded land and agriculture but they proved relatively peaceful (all things considered) and open to negotiations. Their advanced technology allowed them to communicate and they introduced themselves as a people called Telaya.
Strange how quickly people adjusted to it.
Syl sighed and scrolled through his phone. He'd been waiting for his dad to finish negotiations with the Telaya for two days now and he was bored out of his mind.
He had a few invitations to parties and events, but the idea of showing up for cameras and selfies wasn't appealing.
He looked up and grinned at the dark haired boy in the doorway, pushing a cart with dishes covered with silver lids. "Hey, George! You wanna sit? Mini bar's free."
"Nah, thanks. I actually need a favor. Can you deliver this for me? They keep ordering more and my shift ended three hours ago." George wiped his damp brow with his sleeve. "I have an exam tomorrow, but Angie won't let me leave."
Angie was the hotel manager and she ruled her staff with an iron fist.
Syl switched off his phone and jumped up quickly. "Ofcourse."
"Thanks, man." George took off his cap and red blazer with the hotels logo on the breast pocket. "I've sweat through my shirt, but there's more downstairs."
"Thanks." Syl put on the cap and shrugged on the blazer over his blue t-shirt. It clashed terribly and George flinched. The clothing protocol in the hotel was pretty strict.
"Don't let Angie see you like that." George warned as Syl took the cart. "Thanks again. I was so eager to see aliens, but after two hours the novelty's worn off already."
"Yikes. Anything I should know?" Syl's heart beat faster with excitement. He'd seen the aliens at a distance on television. They were easily eight feet tall, with white hair and silver armor that moved with their bodies like a second skin.
"They don't like eye contact and their voices are weird. Like there's a lot of them." George looked at his watch and headed towards the elevator. "I gotta go. I owe you one!"
"Good luck tomorrow! Catch you soon!" Syl called hopefully and George flashed him a tired grin as the elevator doors closed.
Syl read the room number on the screen attached to the handles of the cart. It was eight floors up and he had to take the private elevator, on the left side of the building, that was reserved for high profile guests or celebrities.
His screen pinged that he was already five minutes late and he winced. Hopefully the aliens were understanding.
The elevator announced his floor and he rolled the cart down a blue hall with lacquered brown doors and gold handles. He found the right door and knocked. No answer.
He knocked again and waited. Still no answer. He cautiously turned the handle and opened the door.
"Roomservice." He announced loudly and peeked into the room.
The lounge was a mess. Pillows had been torn up and the velvet curtains were shredded. Vases of flowers had shattered on the floor and a huge flat screen tv lay in a heap of broken glass. "Oh my god."
A Telaya entered from another room and its red eyes fixed on Syl. "Finally. I expected you ten minutes ago."
The alien's voice was soft, but layered with multiple tones. As if it was more than one person speaking. Syl would probably have found it beautiful, if his heart hadn't been hammering in his chest.
He pushed the door wide. "What happened? Should I call security?"
"Security?" The alien turned his head, smooth white hair swishing gently. "No, my pet needs feeding now."
"Your...pet?" Syl wiped his damp palms on his blazer and looked around the room anxiously. "But what happened in here? Did someone break in? I can -"
"Quiet." The alien's voices assembled into a single sharp chord that sliced through Syl's head and had him staring in wide-eyed awe.
Piercing red eyes met his directly and Syl remembered George's warning. He hastily shifted his gaze to the floor.
"My pet is in there." The alien said in a softer tone and Syl saw him gesture towards the bedroom with an elegant blue hand. "Feed him and clean this up."
Syl wanted to say more, but the Telaya was intimidating and he didn't want to anger it.
"Yes, sir." Oh god, what if it was female? He honestly couldn't tell. That sharp face and multiple voice didn't betray a gender.
The alien made a low hum of approval and stepped away from the bedroom door. Syl turned to the cart and took a plate. Feed a pet. Right. He could do that.
He moved towards the bedroom, carefully avoiding the broken glass. The bedroom was just as trashed. The bedsheets were ripped and feathers from the stuffing covered the floor and floated through the air. The room stank too. Like animal urine.
Sylvester swallowed tightly. He thought the alien meant a small animal, like a dog. But something small couldn't do this.
"W-what kind of pet is it?" He asked weakly.
"A Foll." The alien sounded pleasantly surprised, as if Syl had asked the right question. "He is young and new to travel. My brothers and sisters told me to drug him, but he is so gentle most of the time. I didn't expect this."
Syl felt a pressure on his shoulder and stared down at a large blue hand. The alien had six long fingers and white nails that looked filed and manicured.
"Be kind to him. I'll know if you're not." The alien murmured, voices flowing over Syl like a caress. He shivered and flushed. His cock twitched. A voice shouldn't be able to do that.
"Y-y-yes, s-" Syl caught himself. He still didn't know if the Telaya was a sir. He caught a whiff of a pleasant smell, like violets and something fresh and cool. Rain maybe.
The hand on his shoulder lifted and he listened to the alien's fading steps. The door opened and shut. Syl was now alone with this...pet.
He took a breath and stared around the destroyed room. Was it even safe for him to be in here? Should he call security anyway?
But what if they shot the beast and the Telaya blamed him. Those parting words had definitely been a threat.
Syl slowly knelt and placed the dish on the ground. He lifted the lid, revealing a raw seafood dish of squid, crab, oysters and mussels. All arranged neatly on a large silver platter.
He pushed the plate further into the room and retreated to the door opening. After a moment a pair of large purple eyes peeked over the edge of the bed.
Syl stared right back, holding the door-handle like a shield. The eyes blinked at him, pupils huge and round, and two tiny grey ears twitched.
Slowly a face appeared and Syl's jaw dropped. This wasn't an animal. This was a kid his own age. The boy's chin was a little too pointed to look human and his nose was too flat.
His skin was covered in dense grey fur all over, fluffing up longer on his spine and scalp, and his short fingers had black claws.
But he had arms and a torso and slender hind legs that curved backwards, like a cat or a dog, and allowed him to move easily on all fours. And, finally, he had long fluffy tail.
The boy pressed to the floor and scuttled towards the plate. He hunched beside it, tail tucked between his legs, and stared up at Syl.
"G-go ahead." Syl cleared his throat and gestured towards the plate. He didn't even know if the boy understood him. "It's for you."
Violet eyes flicked warily between the plate and Syl. After a tense moment the boy darted forward and snatched the squid with his claws. He ate it quickly, barely swallowing, and a pale purple tongue flicked out to lick his grey mouth.
He froze and stared up at the human again. Syl slowly backed out of the room. Maybe the boy would be more comfortable eating, if he wasn't being stared at.
Syl walked back to the cart and lifted the lid of the second plate and saw a bowl full of cream.
He listened to vigorous sounds of chewing and then a startling crash of metal.
He lifted the bowl and approached the bedroom cautiously. The plate was now on the other side of the room with pieces of crab and mussel shells scattered on the floor.
The boy was huddled against the wall and his violet eyes fixed on the bowl in Syl's hands. His little ears lifted and his nose twitched.
Syl lowered the bowl and stepped back towards the door. The boy dived for it instantly, using his tongue to scoop up the cream. Maybe Syl had misjudged the situation. Maybe the boy was more animal than human.
"Hello?" Syl attempted and the boy froze, eyes darting upwards with cream smeared on his chin. "Can you speak?"
The boy blinked and his long purple tongue ran over his chin. He looked at the bowl longingly.
"You can finish it. I was just curious." Syl said awkwardly and backed out again.
He stared at the ruined room and remembered the alien's instructions with a groan. He tapped for cleaning services on his cart and the screen flashed "not available" in bright green letters. Just his luck.
He'd just finished gathering up the crumpled flowers when metal banged and had him rushing back inside the bedroom.
"Why are you throwing things? Doesn't it taste good?"
Violet eyes shone back at him from beneath the bed, but the boy didn't answer. Syl sighed and walked to the wall, picking up the plate, the bowl and bits of shellfish. He'd have to fetch a broom and a bucket.
What was happening in the rest of the hotel, that the cleaning staff wasn't available? Did every Telaya have a pet wrecking their room?
"It was good."
Syl gasped and spun around. The boy was closer to him now, eyes flitting nervously between him and the bowl. "Do you have more?"
His voice was soft, almost lisping, and sharp white teeth flashed between his grey lips.
"I, uh, yes. I do." Syl stood quickly and the boy jumped back, staring after him with large eyes as he left the room. Syl fetched another plate. This one was full of salmon and tuna sashimi with caviar.
"That's a lot of food." Syl cautioned as the boy gulped down the fish. "Don't make yourself sick."
The boy's round little ears pressed flat and he flashed Syl an annoyed look. "I'm stressed."
"You're stress eating?" Syl sat on the floor, feeling fascinated now. "Why don't you tell me what's wrong?"
The boy's tail swished and he finished his fish in silence. When he was done, he hurled the plate at the wall. Syl winced when it struck a painting and sent it crashing to the floor.
"Why are you doing that? You're destroying the room." He said and the boy scowled at him, tail swishing.
"I told you. I'm stressed." The boy belched loudly and rubbed him stomach with a pained hiss.
"And I told you, you might be sick." Syl retorted and stood to fetch the plate.
"Can I have more?"
"If you tell me what's wrong, you can have more." Syl said, frowning as he lifted the plate and shook off pieces of broken glass.
The boy stared up at him a moment and then darted into a corner. He curled fluidly into a ball and covered his nose with his fuzzy tail.
"Alright." The boy's voice was muffled behind his fur.
Syl approached slowly and sat across from him. The stench of urine was much stronger near the bed and he rubbed his nose with a grimace.
"I've been with my master for five months now. It was scary at first, but then I got used to it. I was warm and fed. I liked the smells. I liked the touches. I miss them." The boy whispered and watched Syl unblinkingly with those violet eyes.
"What's wrong with this place?" Syl asked and the boy hissed, fur twitching on his spine.
"It smells strange and I don't recognize the sounds. I don't feel safe and my master doesn't have the time to touch me." His eyes shut miserably.
Syl stared, dumbfounded. Maybe this boy really was an animal to react so drastically to change. But then again, Syl could remember having separation anxiety as a child.
His mom re-married when he was five and stopped coming home. His dad was always busy at work. He didn't like the maids and the teachers at first - he cried a lot - but he got used to it too.
"This place isn't bad. It's not my home either, but it might as well be. My dad has meetings here all the time." He said.
The boy's tiny grey ears twitched and he blinked at Syl. He was listening.
"They're not actually supposed to be here." Syl stage-whispered and the boy's purple eyes widened with interest. It was a secret, but who was the alien going to tell? "Everyone thinks they're in the White House, but they're in this building."
"What's the meeting about?" The boy lifted his head from his tail.
"Peace." Syl explained. "Your master's people are very strong and we want to get along."
"He is very strong." The boy said proudly and ran his fingers through a snarl in his tail. "He is wise too. I'm lucky he chose me."
"I'm happy for you." Syl murmured, but his heart squeezed uncertainly. "Where did you come from?"
"A terrible place." The boy's eyes darkened and his spine twitched again. "It was cramped and cold. I was always hungry and no one touched me. I didn't have anyone. I was alone." The boy shuddered and hid his face in his tail.
"I'm sorry that happened to you." Syl said, meaning it.
"Thank you." The boy looked up and licked his lips nervously. The fur on his head looked soft and it thinned on his cheeks to grey down. "You're nice."
"So are you." Syl smiled, finding he liked this strange alien. It was a little like talking to a child, but maybe he only felt that way because they were so different. "I'm Sylvester, but my friends call me Syl."
"Friends." The boy's eyes shuttered in a strange blink and his chin lowered. "I don't have any."
"I'll be your friend. I could use some too." Syl grinned and shrugged, trying to make light of the ache in his chest.
It wasn't easy to find genuine friends when you were homeschooled and the son of the president. Sure, he had everything he wanted. Money. Clothes. Gadgets.
But his grand home was always empty and armed men guarded the doors. That was why he liked hotels. There would be down to earth people, like George, worth talking to. He was nothing like the self-absorbed socialites Syl's dad practically paid to hang out with him.
George worked night and day to help out his siblings and single mom - but he would have been insulted if Syl offered him so much as a cent. He was far too proud for that.
But even George was distant around him sometimes - when he saw a sleek car arrive to pick up Syl or the guards following him down a hall - it was as if they came from two different worlds that would never align.
He'd never understand how much Syl envied the love he had waiting at home.
The boy was still watching him intently. He had a full upper lip with a high cupid's bow that nearly touched his flat nose. But it looked right on him.