Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“I’m not that good a Tailor. It’s part of all Corporalki training now, but I just don’t have an affinity for it.”
“What?” she asked.
“I’ve never heard you admit you’re not good at something.”
“Well, it happens so rarely.”
He was horrified to find his lips curling in a smile, but it was easy enough to quell when he thought of his face being changed. “What does Brekker want you to do to me?”
“Nothing radical. I’ll change your eye color, your hair—what you have of it. It won’t be permanent.”
“I don’t want this.” I don’t want you near me.
“It won’t take long, and it will be painless, but if you want to argue about it with Kaz…”
“Fine,” he said, steeling himself. It was pointless to argue with Brekker, not when he could simply taunt Matthias with the promise of the pardon. Matthias picked up a bucket, flipped it over, and sat down. “Can I have the key now?”
She handed it over to him and he unshackled his wrists as she rooted around in a box she’d brought over. It had a handle and several little drawers stuffed with powders and pigments in tiny jars. She extracted a pot of something black from a drawer.
“What is it?”
“Black antimony.” She stepped close to him, tilting his chin back with the tip of her finger. “Unclench your jaw, Matthias. You’re going to grind your teeth down to nothing.”
He crossed his arms.
She started shaking some of the antimony over his scalp and gave a rueful sigh. “Why does the brave drüskelle Matthias Helvar eat no meat?” she asked in a theatrical voice as she worked. “’Tis a sad story indeed, my child. His teeth were winnowed away by a vexatious Grisha, and now he can eat only pudding.”
“Stop that,” he grumbled.
“What? Keep your head tilted back.”
“What are you doing?”
“Darkening your brows and lashes. You know, the way girls do before a party.” He must have grimaced because she burst out laughing. “The look on your face!”
She leaned in, the waves of her brown hair brushing against his cheeks as she bled the color from the antimony into his brows. Her hand cupped his cheek.
“Shut your eyes,” she murmured. Her thumbs moved over his lashes, and he realized he was holding his breath.
“You don’t smell like roses anymore,” he said, then wanted to kick himself. He shouldn’t be noticing her scent.
“I probably smell like boat.”
No, she smelled sweet, perfect like … “Toffee?”
Her eyes slid away guiltily. “Kaz said to pack what we needed for the journey. A girl has to eat.” She reached into her pocket and drew out a bag of toffees. “Want one?”
She shrugged and popped one in her mouth. Her eyes rolled back, and she sighed happily. “So good.”
It was a humiliating epiphany, but he knew he could have watched her eat all day. This was one of the things he’d liked best about Nina—she savored everything, whether it was a toffee or cold water from a stream or dried reindeer meat.