Hiccup was down on all fours, the chain between his wrists under Dagur’s boot, keeping him there. His eyes were on his feet.
“Kiss it,” Dagur said.
“What?” Hiccup looked up at him. He was terribly intimidating from this angle, what with his scars and his tattoos and his scowl.
“Kiss my boot, or I order my men to shoot.”
“Shoot” meant filling Hiccup’s friends with crossbow bolts. He swallowed hard, tried peering around Dagur’s legs at them. He could only see Astrid, and her face was grim. There was no answer there for what he should do. Hiccup looked back at Dagur.
“I’m not kidding, Hiccup,” he threatened. “Do it.”
Swallowing hard, resigning himself to this humiliating gesture, Hiccup lowered his head and placed a hesitant kiss on the tip of Dagur’s boot. His cheeks burned red, though he doubted that could be seen in the dark.
“Keep doing it,” Dagur ordered.
Hiccup hadn’t expected it, but tears of humiliation burned in his eyes. He blinked them away as he pressed his lips to Dagur’s boot again and again.
“More.” Dagur’s voice was a growl, and Hiccup was afraid of what that could mean. “I’ve wanted this for three years. Do better than that.”
“Doing better” consisted of practically slobbering over the toe of his boot. Hiccup’s tears fell free now. He couldn’t help it.
Dagur moaned as if he was gaining pleasure from this. He leaned down, pet Hiccup’s hair.
“What a good boy.”
Hiccup wanted to kill him when he crooned at him like that, like he was some kind of animal, beneath him. Hiccup would kill him to not be on this beach right now with Dagur’s and Ryker’s men watching this, with his friends watching this, but he had ended up here to fix his own mistake. The Skrill had been captured because of him and he had to fix it. He didn’t know how to do that anymore, his plan having failed and leaving him like this, on the ground with his mouth on Dagur’s boot. It disgusted him and filled him with shame. He was sure Dagur was getting some sort of sexual satisfaction out of this. That was just how he was.
Now Dagur was lifting his toes off the chain and yanking it up so that Hiccup was kneeling. Dagur met his gaze, eyes shining with satisfaction.
“Good boy, Hiccup. Maybe I’ll let you and your friends go if you do more for me.”
Hiccup’s breath hitched. Dagur let go of him, hands going to his belt, which Hiccup was now face-to-face with.
“Will you keep being a good boy?” Dagur asked, hands on the buckle.
Hiccup met his eyes, trying to drive out the shame and humiliation that made him want to cry.
They were flying back to the Edge now. Hiccup sat stiffly atop Toothless, trying to get the taste of Dagur out of his mouth.
“Hiccup, you didn’t have to do that for us,” Astrid said, maneuvering Stormfly to be near Toothless.
Hiccup stared straight ahead. “I did. It was either that or you all died.”
Silence. Then: “Are you okay?”
“I’d rather not talk about it.”
The rest of the flight was had in silence, a silence in which Hiccup felt horrible about himself. All this, and the Dragon Hunters had the Skrill.
At least they didn’t have his friends’ bodies.
But he could still taste Dagur on his tongue.