A/N - I'm down with a cold! I feel ridiculous drinking chamomile tea in my summer dress. This was written with a bleary mind, so I hope it's clear and not full of mistakes. I'll edit, as always. Hope you're all well - and if you go to the beach remember to dry off with a towel and don't walk home soaked, like me ^^ Please review 3

Assessment

Chapter 2.

Those violet eyes weren't angry or even malicious. They were curious; he was being tested.

Kieran frowned; did the boy think he'd try to fight? These aliens were all more than twice his size. He wouldn't stand a chance.

He lifted gingerly and moved away to sit on the opposite side of the pen - hoping the boy would tire of him soon.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the black haired boy converse with one of the red skinned aliens. The boy gestured towards him and Kieran's gut tightened.

Beside him a tall girl, with brown skin and white hair, reached into the pen to pick up a delicate pink boy with drooping ears. She cradled him gently and scratched behind his ears.

Kieran was unceremoniously hauled up by his waist and he stared up into violet eyes with sinking resignation.

The boy's mint palms faded to plum colored fingertips and he pressed a thumb into the Human's jaw.

Kieran's mouth popped open under the pressure, and he caught a faint whiff of citrus, before fingers ran over his teeth.

The alien seemed pleased, but frowned at the texture of Kieran's chemically damaged hair, and moved on to examine his arms and legs.

Next, Kieran was propped onto his belly and the alien spent an uncomfortable amount of time inspecting his spine and tail bone.

The boy then spread the Human's buttocks and pressed a finger into his anus.

Kieran grunted - his drug addled mind didn't diminish the sting, or the indignity, of a large digit pushing dry into him.

Tears of shame gathered in his eyes and he grit his teeth.

He was then turned onto his back and his penis was caught between two violet fingers. He was jerked with quick, mechanical motions - and, when his cock inevitably hardened, the boy abruptly released him and passed him over to a red alien.

Kieran was carried from the room and his humiliation was complete.

Tears trailed sluggishly down his face and he never even saw the tub full of pink liquid, before he was dumped into it.

His skin was abruptly searing, and he struggled futilely, as all but his scalp was pressed into the fluid. His hair was coated with a thick gel, and the fiery substance was rubbed over the lower part of his face, before he was hauled up and dropped into a second tub.

This solution didn't burn, but it was ice cold. His hair was scrubbed roughly and his teeth rattled when he was lifted, and placed onto a crate blowing hot air.

He shook and stared blearily at his red and blistered skin. The little body hair he'd had was gone.

He was then hosed down with an itchy spray and coated in a fresh layer of gel. At this point Kieran thankfully passed out.

—-

He woke to the gentle sway of footsteps and the smell of citrus. He sleepily noted a second herb. More woodsy; sage, perhaps?

He was in the mint skinned alien's arms and they were walking up a pale stone staircase, flanked by gold ducts filled with running water.

He blinked wearily - The alien's hand was resting warm on his belly and Kieran's head was cushioned against the luxurious red fabric in the curve of the boy's arm. It was difficult to stay alert and not give his sore body a chance to rest.

They reached the top of the stairs and passed through a set of stone doors, into an opulent room filled with large glass chambers, that were divided by gossamer curtains in muted colors.

Kieran turned his head and saw one chamber full of trees and red furred boys with sharp ears and bushy tails. A second room contained pillows, throws and white, sleek beings lying in piles.

Kieran's eyes widened at a rather graphic display of affection between three of the boys and he hurriedly looked away.

In total there were five rooms containing different male species - but the final one looked empty.

The alien pressed his fingertips lightly against the last chamber and the surface glowed blue beneath his touch.

A section of glass swept aside, and snicked shut, when the mint skinned boy had entered.

The entire space was filled with an intoxicating scent. Kieran couldn't think of anything to compare it to - it was sweet yet musky. Pungent yet fresh. His mouth watered and his heart-rate quickened.

The alien placed the Human gently on his feet and tilted his chin up. Kieran managed to focus past that wonderful smell. Physically he was exhausted, but his mind felt clearer than it had in weeks.

The alien considered him a moment through half-mast eyes - his lashes were all connected in a single dark wing eclipsing violet orbs.

The hand on the Human's chin trailed down and abruptly shoved him backwards. Kieran landed hard on his side and the air was knocked out of his lungs. He coughed and wheezed for breath, scrambling upright and braced for a second blow.

But the alien only watched him silently, head tilted with the same quizzical thoughtfulness he'd shown earlier. Kieran frowned in confusion.

The boys in the chambers hadn't looked mistreated - in fact they'd practically glowed with health. So why was the alien hurting him?

Was he meant as a meal, or some dark form of entertainment? His hair had never been this soft - he'd obviously been preened for this and why go to the trouble just to end him?

The boy advanced in two swift steps and knelt, hauling Kieran up by his shoulder. The Human steeled himself for more pain - but instead lips pressed firmly against his mouth. Kieran's eyes opened wide.

His hands rested limp by his sides and all his senses zeroed in on the soft press and warm breaths against his cheek. The boy pulled away and watched Kieran closely.

The alien's lips were flushed a mint only slightly darker than his skin and his upper lip was fuller than the bottom. He was attractive - but in a way the Human wasn't accustomed to.

Kieran had always thought he was straight - but he found himself leaning forward ever so slightly.

Were aliens even in the gender category? Or were they something else entirely? Perhaps he should be more concerned by the fact that he was hoping for more kisses from someone who was clearly abusive.

He was no doubt vulnerable and suffering some sort of psychological trauma. But he hadn't felt a comforting touch in so long and he desperately wanted it.

Violet tinted fingers stroked gently down his cheek and that felt good too - but the boy didn't kiss him again. He just watched him.

The denial hurt and Kieran's eyes abruptly filled.

"What do you want?" He asked quietly.

The alien lightly scratched the Human's scalp and his mouth curved with satisfaction. Kieran stared, utterly lost, and a tear slid down his cheek.

The boy stood, tapped the door open and stepped out. He arranged himself on a cushioned stone shelf, just outside the glass, and lifted a thin tablet and started flicking through the screen.

Kieran looked around hollowly. The area was designed for climbing. Stone handholds covered tall walls and grey ropes slung from pale blue trees with turquoise leaves.

There were several areas with small coves and hammocks, but they were too high up to reach.

Kieran walked on unsteady legs and sat gingerly on a soft patch of grass by a tree. His entire side was beginning to hurt from the fall and a large bruise was forming on his hip. He should be on guard, but his eyes kept drooping.

—-

That wonderful smell was stronger than before and Kieran felt a puff of air against his cheek.

He lifted his head groggily and caught a flash of pale golden skin, and a well of platinum blonde hair, before the slim shape shimmied up the wall and disappeared behind a cove with a flick of a blonde tail. A light green eye peaked down at him and quickly withdrew.

It had all happened in mere moments and the Human was still blinking sleep from his eyes. He licked his dry lips and his stomach growled.

He looked up at the trees, but there was no fruit on their branches. He turned towards the glass wall and, sure enough, the black haired alien was sitting there - tablet in hand and violet eyes watching him.

For a moment, Kieran was taken aback by the force of that stare - but he was soon distracted by more pressing needs.

He lifted slowly to his feet. His bruised hip was now black and purple, and he walked carefully towards the glass.

He couldn't hear any sound beyond the walls - and he placed a hand on his belly, and lifted pinched fingers to his mouth, in what he hoped was a plain enough gesture.

"I'm hungry!" He called, just in case the alien had a way of hearing. "Food, please?"

The mint skinned boy watched him silently for another long moment, before casting a brief glance up to where that golden creature was hiding. He then placed his tablet on the shelf and stood.

Kieran watched him walk away - his bare feet faded to violet and a gold bracelet swung from one slender ankle.

It wasn't long before he returned, tray in hand, and the Human had to restrain himself from running towards the glass like an eager dog.

The boy stepped inside, placed the tray on the ground, and left.

Kieran hurried towards the meal. There were several bronze bowls of fruit and vegetables. It was entirely vegetarian but, so long as it was edible, that was perfectly fine.

Kieran chose a red vegetable that resembled a bell-pepper - it was roasted and tasted vaguely like fennel covered in a tangy sauce.

He wolfed it down and reached for the grains next. They were citrusy with the occasional dried fruit in between.

He ate until he was uncomfortably full and reached for a large clear cup. It was full of a green drink and he sniffed it cautiously before taking a sip - it reminded him faintly of cantaloupe and apple - and he finished it quickly.

Afterwards he returned to his spot beneath the trees and lay on his side. The temperature was warm and comfortable - and he could stretch his limbs as far as he wanted, without bars restricting him.

He could feel eyes on him; assessing his every move - but with a full belly, and warm grass beneath him, he just couldn't bring himself to care.

That delicious scent was back and a soft touch ghosted over his cheek. He blinked and looked up into startled eyes. They were a green so pale it was nearly colorless, with a pinprick of gold in the center.

Kieran blinked again and the individual, a boy, leapt back from him and crouched a safe distance away. The Human stayed perfectly still and stared at this unbelievable being.

The boy had light golden skin and long, slender limbs. His creamy blonde hair was incredibly long, and hung in a straight veil past a fine-boned face, and pooled glossily onto the stone floor. Small rounded ears perched on either side of the boy's head and a long tail curled behind him.

Kieran wet his lips nervously and those translucent green eyes widened.

"He..." He'd barely voiced the greeting before the boy leapt a second time, long fingers hooking into the handholds on the wall, and he squirreled up to slip inside a cove.

"...llo." Kieran finished lamely.

He sat up, rubbing his face tiredly and his bladder squeezed. The violet eyed alien was gone, but Kieran's skin itched as though he was still being watched.

He wandered about the space, trailing his hand over the trees and bushes, before he found a stone path leading down to a chamber.

Inside was a dimly lit room with a fall of water rushing from the stone ceiling and splashing lightly into a shallow pool.

Further inside was a smaller space, with a light fragrance, and a blue stone seat that could only be meant for one thing.

Kieran hurriedly relieved himself and braced against the burn of disinfectant. But the spray that covered his backside was only mildly cooling and his shoulders sagged in relief.

He rubbed his hands into a small spring of water. It was clear but with a slightly viscous consistency that left his skin soft.

He returned to the pool and tentatively touched the falling stream. It was every bit as gentle as the first.

He washed and the little dirt he'd accumulated rinsed away without the need for soap. There was no towel, but the water absorbed fast into his skin, and he continued his explorations with more enthusiasm.

Curiosity soon turned to boredom. The space was clean and tranquil. But there was absolutely nothing to do. It led him to wonder about the coves, and hideouts, in the levels above him.

He attempted to climb one wall, but soon abandoned the attempt. The handholds were too slight and the stone surface curved gradually outwards near the top.

The violet eyed boy left a second tray and sat on his perch with a drink in hand.

Kieran ate and the day went by. He napped, stretched - even did a few gentle exercises to strengthen muscles weakened from the cramped cage.

At one point there was a rustle between the branches, but Kieran kept his gaze down. He thought of the shy animals he'd previously encountered; they were always more like to approach, if you ignored them.

He continued his exercises. It wasn't long before a sheen of sweat covered his skin and he had to sit; catching his breath. It would take some time before his body recovered.

There was a light pad of steps behind him and he heard the faintest clink of bowls from the tray. He stayed seated and, when quiet chewing commenced, he slowly lowered to his side and closed his eyes.

If the boy was a threat - and Kieran highly doubted it - he would have attacked him before this.

His mind was just starting to drift, when that incredible scent enveloped him, and he struggled to keep his breathing soft and even.

There was the gentlest touch on his hair, before it instantly withdrew. Kieran remained still, focusing on the beat of his heart, and the touch hesitantly returned.

Tentative fingers feathered across his scalp and there was a faint sniff near his neck. The touch whispered down to trace lightly over his tail bone and silky hair flowed over his skin.

It tickled and Kieran's stomach tightened to keep from laughing.

Warm breath suddenly ghosted across his shoulder and sharp teeth sank into the joint at his neck.

"Ow!" Kieran abruptly sat up, and the creature squealed. When he turned to look a blonde tail was already tucking into a cove.

The boy actually bit him! Kieran swiped the tender area and looked at his hand, but there was thankfully no blood.

He rubbed his neck sullenly and looked towards the glass. The mint skinned boy was standing, hand poised, as if prepared to enter.

The Human frowned and waited expectantly - but after a moment the alien lowered his hand and returned to his seat.