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Order of Scorpions by Ivy Asher

Order of Scorpions by Ivy Asher PDF

Author: Ivy Asher

Publisher: Independently published


Publish Date: August 17, 2022

ISBN-10: B0B9Z41J8T

Pages: 730

File Type: Epub, PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

A loud clang of metal slamming against metal jolts me awake. Stale air reeking of filthy bodies and unwashed chamber pots fills my lungs, and I gag at the offensive stench. Bitter cold settles deep in my bones, eliciting a shiver and igniting a flare of confusion.

Where am I?

The thought feels thick and hazy as it tumbles around in my mind. I try to open my eyes, but they’re crusted shut. There’s a twinge of pain from the pull of my eyelashes as I struggle to open my lids, and I rub at my eyes to clear them. My heart kicks up with worry as foreign, unwelcome sensations continue to assault my senses.

Something is very wrong.

I don’t know what’s happening or why my body aches as though it’s been to war. I try to piece my chaotic confusion together, but it’s as though I’m attempting to boil water with a fire that’s all but gone out. I fight against the pounding in my head and the panic in my chest, and painfully I force my eyelids open. All I find for my struggle is endless layers of blackness all around me.

A quiet groan slips out of my mouth when I turn my head to better take in my inky surroundings. The slight movement invites the ache in my skull to spread down my neck and into my shoulders. Pain rolls through me like wind-pestered ripples over the surface of a glassy lake, and I pull in deep breaths of fetid air to try to fight the black spots that start to speckle my already dark vision.

Nausea roils in my belly, and I clench my fists, the movement a lethargic reaction to the misery coursing through me. My short nails scrape roughly against the frigid floor I’m sprawled across as the need to fight whoever has done this to me floats in my blood. Too bad everything about where I am or why is blank. It’s as though someone hastily erased all the vital details of who I am, leaving only streaks of chalk and murky clouds of dust in their wake.

Barely suppressed sobs draw my attention somewhere to my left. My eyes struggle to adjust, to bring into focus what the surrounding blackness has wrapped in its cloying grip. I swallow down my trepidation, suddenly noticing the flavor of terror in my mouth as though it crawled inside, died, and has been rotting on my tongue for who knows how long. Bile tickles the back of my throat as my eyes finally sharpen in the drowning darkness all around me. I blink once against the onslaught of images, straining to catalog things as I take them in.

It isn’t just the chilly stone underneath my battered limbs that’s sapping my body of heat and comfort. There are metal bars surrounding me. Tall ominous rods embedded into a frosty stone floor and capped off by a baleful blackened metal top.

I’m in a cage.

A cage in part made of iron, and that realization triggers a jolt of panic and adrenaline—although I can’t seem to remember why or how I recognize the danger in this metal. My body is clearly trying to tell me something, something it thinks I should know, but everything in my head is leaden and vacuous. Somehow, the parts of me I need in order to understand these reactions, are missing. Fear spikes even harder in my chest. My heart gallops like it’s surging for first in a race. My body is responding in kind to my frantic emotions, but my thoughts are tripping all over themselves. My head is in last place with no hope of catching up to my body.

I squint into the darkness, seeing more cages. They line the walls of the room, some empty, their open maws ready and waiting to devour unsuspecting victims. Others are filled with helpless heaps like me. Once again I hear the hushed, terrified cadence of soft crying. I try to trace the shattered song to its source, but I can’t tell where it’s coming from.

Panic unfurls in my belly, and pain screams through my arms as I force myself up from the ground on shaky limbs. A silvery lock of hair falls into my face as I move. I freeze. Staring at the unusual hue of the wisps, I wait for the color or texture to trigger some kind of recognition, any kind of cognizance in my addled, pockmarked mind. Nothing comes. I reach for a tuft, tugging at it gently, and feel the roots of the strands tighten against my scalp. It’s definitely my hair.

Why do I feel so confused by that?

I sit up further, despite the warning twinge of my stiff and angry muscles. I rake long fingers through my tresses, pushing the dense strands out of my face. The ends tickle my lower back, but it’s my hands that I’ve now pulled in front of me to stare at.

I don’t know them.

Dread lodges in the base of my throat, thick and intrusive, as I run the pads of my fingers over the unfamiliar features of my face. Long lashes, straight nose, puffy lips, pointed ears, these are things I know, and yet…I don’t. I’m not shocked by what I find at the tips of my fingers, but an image of what those parts create as a whole doesn’t filter into my mind.

I don’t know who I am.

Alarm-tinged certainty clings to that fact. I try to muddle through my memories, to look for anything that exists beyond waking up inside of this cage, but there’s nothing there. My mind is black and barren, and all I find are questions and fear flying around inside of me like feathers on a violent rush of wind.

What’s going on?

Faint shouting erupts somewhere outside of the room of cages, and a few of the others locked inside these iron bars release terrified squeaks of warning. Once again my body responds as though it knows exactly what they’re afraid of. Adrenaline surges in my veins, helping to clear some of the cobwebs from my head and the ache from my limbs. Dismay tightens my muscles, and my heart starts to beat so loud and so fast that it’s suddenly all I can hear. It’s as though the blaring rhythm is trying to drown out the sounds of what’s coming, trying to protect me from the horrors of what I’m going to encounter.

Instinct has me scurrying back in my cage, trying to get as far as I can from whatever is going on. A sizzling sting rips through my bare shoulders as they come in contact with the bars at my back. I yelp as I jerk away from the burning iron rods. The smell of scorched skin clings to the inside of my nose as I scramble to the middle of my cage. I reach behind me, hissing as my fingertips test the throbbing new injuries. It seems that my sleeveless shift protected my back at least, but I burned the backs of my shoulders and both arms. A helpless whimper slips from my lips as I huddle in the middle of my cage, eyeing the iron barriers as the yelling outside gets louder.

Iron hurts the fae.

Out of nowhere, my fear-laden mind provides this fact as though it’s something I should know.


Is that what I am? I wait expectantly as though the answer will pop up in my head just as unbidden and unexpected as the previous thought, but nothing comes. There’s no sense of knowing or rightness at the notion of fae, only pain and panic.

The heavy tread of multiple feet reverberates somewhere outside the room of cages. I watch helplessly as other prisoners fold in on themselves as though they’re trying to disappear into the darkness itself.

“What’s happening?” I rasp, surprise moving through me at the discovery that I can use my voice for more than just whimpers and pained groans.

Before anyone can so much as wince in my direction, a large door at one end of the room slides open with a piercing screech. My eyes snap shut from the painful stab of light that slices into the room. I cover my head with my arms at the sound, my sensitive ears pounding from the abuse. No matter how much it makes me ache, I force myself to peek at the newcomers. I need answers, and I can’t hide away from finding them, no matter how petrified I am.

“Which one is she in?” a snarling voice demands.

I can only make out dark, blurry silhouettes against the bright backlight. Two towering blobs and one much smaller and leaner dark visage.

“The far back kennel, Dorsin. The one away from the others,” one of the big blobs grumbles, pique and displeasure layered in his obedient response.

“Bring her to my office like you were told to do from the beginning,” the smaller silhouette, the one the other just called Dorsin, bellows. I automatically flinch from the exploding rage of the command.

An angry stomp of footfall starts and then quickly fades away as Dorsin’s sliver of darkness grows smaller and smaller until it’s swallowed up by the light of a long hallway. Then the two massive outlines step away from the light and begin to move through the room of cages. The brightness at their backs hides their features, but menace and fury pulse off the figures as they soundlessly make their way closer. The smell of piss suddenly permeates the room. I look and see pools form around some of the other caged and huddled beings, their fear all at once stronger than their ability to hold their bladder. The direction the two mountainous males are moving in makes my stomach drop. Terror starts to choke me, and I fight the urge to close my eyes and pretend none of this is happening.

The light at the entrance only stretches so far, and as the hulking shadows close the distance, darkness works to paint the terrifying duo before slowly revealing their features. When the dark gray skin, slitted yellow eyes, and smashed facial features become apparent, the word orc screams in my head. I know that’s what they are, just like I suddenly know they’re members of the Night Court and native to the lava mines. Yet amidst all that certainty, there’s still nothing but blankness when I scramble to search for anything that could explain who I am or what they want with me.

They reach for the front of my cage, and I hurry to get as far away from them as I can. Burning iron bars at my back once again immediately stop my retreat, and my pained shriek has one of the orcs humming in satisfaction as though my cry is its favorite sound in all of the realms.

“Please don’t hurt me,” I beg, my voice barely a croak, as a black key slides smoothly into the lock of my cage. With a flick of a thick wrist, the front of my enclosure swings open with a terrible weighted silence.

My gaze darts around, desperate for a path that leads to escape, or for help, but all that’s there is the cool taunt of iron and the barbarous bulk of orc. Rounded claws tip the hulking hand that reaches for me, and dread slips out of my mouth on a mewl that quickly transforms to an anguished cry as he wraps his fist in my hair and yanks me brutally out of the cage. My hands shoot to the fist in my locks, leaving me defenseless to the palm that wraps around my throat. My tormented and horror-filled sounds are cut off when the orc tightens his grip on my neck and holds me in the air like I’m nothing more than a naughty cria in need of discipline.

Hot piss runs down my leg as I claw at the choking grip on my throat.

“Your fear is making me hard, little gash,” a gravelly voice declares from behind me as the heat radiating off of him engulfs me.

The orc’s thick armor-like skin presses against my back, and a sickeningly long, wet, and warm tongue moves up my cheek. He licks the tracks of tears spilling down one side of my face and then moves to lick the other side as the orc in front of me watches with lurid excitement. The iron burns on my shoulders turn agonizing against the inferno of the orc’s skin, and black edges begin to frame my terrified, watery vision.

“Let me hear her, Ghat,” the orc at my back commands, and the hand at my throat loosens as a large arm wraps around my waist to anchor me to one of the monster’s bodies.

I wheeze and gasp, begging my lungs to fill and empty, over and over again, as pathetic whimpers pour out of me and fresh tears trail down my face.

“Please,” I implore, the single angst-laced word all my damaged throat can manage before the hand tightens around my neck in warning.

“Begging already for us is she, Eorn?” the orc at my front asks, his slitted yellow eyes raking over me with nauseating promises glowing in their depths.

He reaches for the urine-soaked hem of my shift, pulling it up with a jerk, and I explode into frenzied action. I fight and kick and scratch to get away, but the grip on my throat tightens until enclosing black threatens to take me and exhaustion weighs down every limb. My pitiful attempts to break away are useless, the orc’s hold on me certain, and I try to embrace the anger surging through me and not give in to the helplessness that’s now threatening to pull me under like an anchor.

They laugh as I impotently battle and try to keep orc hands from my hips. The arm around my abdomen tightens as the orc in front of me, Ghat, bends over. His lips split into a vicious smile. Sharp teeth gleam at me before he juts out a thick black tongue. He licks a streak of piss from my thigh, loosening his hold on my neck as he laps up another and another. I’m horrified, and disgusted, and painfully aware that each lick is getting closer and closer to parts of me I would never offer freely to a beast like him. Hysteria and horror work to take over my every thought as I desperately gasp for air now that the orc’s hold on my throat has loosened.

Ghat watches me, his salacious gaze never leaving mine as he licks the wet evidence of fear from my legs like he’s savoring it. His eyes light up at the fright and alarm in mine, and he looks down at my piss-stained underwear and then up at me like he wants there to be no doubt where this is going.

“Come, brother, you know Dorsin doesn’t like to be kept waiting. He’s already all twisted up about this little prize,” the orc at my back, Eorn, announces as he nuzzles my neck.

His breath reeks of rotten meat, and I try not to gag as another weak whimper crawls up my throat. Ghat growls irritably, but after another long revolting lick up my inner thigh, he straightens up. “Think he’ll let us play with her later?” he asks.

“I don’t think we’ll get to come to this one’s screams unless her people don’t pay up. This was a big job though. I bet he gives us a couple of the others, let us break them in before they’re sold off,” Eorn replies, a smile stretching across his horrible face.

I study the threatening gleam that grows in Ghat’s eyes at his brother’s words, then all of a sudden, his nails dig into my hip. I gasp in pain and ready myself to uselessly try to fight him off, but with a quick yank, he tears my underwear free from my body, laughing as he steps away from me. His hand drops from my throat, and he brings the crotch of the fabric he just tore from me to his mouth and starts to suck on it.

I don’t know if I want to vomit with relief that he’s no longer touching me or in revulsion at the fact that my soiled underwear is in the monster’s mouth. Eorn laughs, the grating sound wrapping around me from behind just like his massive arm is. He snickers as though he just read my thoughts and finds my repugnance amusing. His brother did just lick urine from my skin as though it were petal wine, so I doubt I’m far off. Eorn drops me down his chest, and just when I think he’s going to set me on my feet, he grinds against the bare cheeks of my ass. The leather of his pants does little to cover the feel of his hard prick against me, and I wail pitifully as I try to push out of his hold and away from the threat in his leathers.

“By the Kings, I hope they don’t pay for you. I can tell you’d be so ripe and fun. Wouldn’t you, little gash?” he asks as he and his brother start to move toward the brightly lit entrance.

Eorn takes every opportunity to continue to grind me against his dick with each step. He’s so gargantuan that my toes dangle almost three feet from the floor. His arm around me is a steel band, and there’s little I can do other than take what he’s rubbing against me as he and his brother lead me out of the room of cages. I hurry to look at the others enclosed in the iron-barred cells, to search for anything that might spark recognition, but eyes are hidden and faces are buried deep in the protective embrace of shivering arms. I can only make out dark stringy hair and other beings who look like they’re nothing more than a pile of rags and hopelessness.

“She would be fun,” Ghat agrees. “You’d bleed all over my cock and scream nice and loud, wouldn’t you, little gash?” he growls, leaning menacingly closer and then laughing when I shiver with abhorrence.

The clang of a door slides shut behind me, and I try to squint through the overwhelming brightness of the wide sandstone hallway we’re now striding through. Nothing looks familiar. The orc’s comments about “my people” don’t conjure any flashes of memory. All I can focus on is trying to ignore the vile orc’s length against my ass and the cold wetness of my shift as it clings to my upper thighs.

Ghat moves in front, checking the turns in the maze of halls and corridors as we go. Their steps are silent, which is surprising for two massive beings, and I get the impression that they don’t want anyone to see us. I have no idea why that would be, but between the stifling terror clawing through my chest, my efforts to ignore the threat pressing against my backside with every step, and the fact that I’m being taken to someone worse than these two, the question of why they don’t want someone seeing them doesn’t rank high on my list of emergent worries.

Quicker than I realize, we arrive at a pair of plain white-oak double doors. Ghat bangs loudly three times, pauses, knocks once, waits a few more seconds, and then knocks one more time in some kind of code. The walls around me are large bricks of tan sandstone, and the floor is a thick slab of something else in the same color. There are no windows, but bright fairy light glows in hanging lanterns on the walls, illuminating the space as though it’s midday.

The burns on my back throb, and the bruises that I know are forming around my neck and torso answer the call with their own pained pulse. I feel utterly depleted and afraid. I don’t know if it’s good or bad that the desolate wasteland that is my memory has no idea what’s lying in wait on the other side of these doors. Unfortunately, I’m certain that scum like these orcs only bow to bigger, scarier things, and that hard understanding has my battered body shaking with frigid fear and my empty stomach churning with acrid consternation.

A low whine comes from Ghat at the door, and his yellow eyes are fixed on me again. He draws in a deep, slow inhale, his dark gray skin almost glimmering in the fairy light. His muscles look even bigger and more formidable than they did before. His leathers hug the tree trunks he has for legs and the vile member that’s hard against his inner left thigh. Straps for more blades than I can count are built into the design of the orc’s trousers. He’s barefoot, his toenails black and long, and the small perception that they’re not wearing any other armor or clothing on their upper halves trickles into my mind. It’s as though they’re comfortable here, like wherever we are is home.

I pull in a deep breath as a booming enter sounds off from the other side of the double doors. I don’t smell any sulfur or ash, two scents that would definitely taint the air if we were in the lava mines. The atmosphere is dry and warm, or maybe that heat is coming from Eorn, the orc who’s still grinding threateningly against me. His brother opens the door, and I’m rushed in behind him. The tall doors slam shut at our backs, the sound almost deafening in the silence of the vast quarters we enter.

My blood runs cold at the sight of a large bed piled with blankets and pillows in various lush and expensive fabrics. Immense hand-painted tapestries hang on the walls, scenes of rich greenery and beautiful flowers covering their surfaces.

The Dawn Court, my mind supplies, but why I know that and not my name is starting to feel more maddening than the orc dick now pressed into my back. My fearful gaze lands on a dark blond fae sitting behind a wide, elaborately carved desk. His fingers are steepled in front of him, and his bright blue eyes take in my every shiver. His gaze drops to the orc arm wrapped around my waist and the yellow wet spots on my crumpled shift. When he settles his perusing stare on my neck, his dark brown eyebrow twitches almost imperceptibly. Ever so slowly, his eyes rise to my lips, pause for the briefest of breaths, and then the fae’s bright blue gaze finally settles on mine.

“You’re as beautiful as she claimed, Auset. I’m so glad to finally meet you.”

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