Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“You’re bluffing,” said Geels, but his pistol hand was trembling.
Kaz lifted his head and inhaled deeply. “Getting late now. You heard the siren. I smell the harbor on the wind, sea and salt, and maybe—is that smoke I smell, too?” There was pleasure in his voice.
Oh, Saints, Kaz, Inej thought miserably. What have you done now?
Again, Geels’ finger twitched on the trigger, and Inej tensed.
“I know, Geels. I know,” Kaz said sympathetically. “All that planning and scheming and bribing for nothing. That’s what you’re thinking right now. How bad it will feel to walk home knowing what you’ve lost. How angry your boss is going to be when you show up empty-handed and that much poorer for it. How satisfying it would be to put a bullet in my heart. You can do it. Pull the trigger. We can all go down together. They can take our bodies out to the Reaper’s Barge for burning, like all paupers go. Or you can take the blow to your pride, go back to Burstraat, lay your head in your girl’s lap, fall asleep still breathing, and dream of revenge. It’s up to you, Geels. Do we get to go home tonight?”
Geels searched Kaz’s gaze, and whatever he saw there made his shoulders sag. Inej was surprised to feel a pang of pity for him. He’d walked into this place buoyed on bravado, a survivor, a champion of the Barrel. He’d leave as another victim of Kaz Brekker.
“You’ll get what’s coming to you someday, Brekker.”
“I will,” said Kaz, “if there’s any justice in the world. And we all know how likely that is.”
Geels let his arm drop. The pistol hung uselessly by his side.
Kaz stepped back, brushing the front of his shirt where the gun barrel had rested. “Go tell your general to keep the Black Tips out of Fifth Harbor and that we expect him to make amends for the shipment of jurda we lost, plus five percent for drawing steel on neutral ground and five percent more for being such a spectacular bunch of asses.”
Then Kaz’s cane swung in a sudden sharp arc. Geels screamed as his wrist bones shattered. The gun clattered to the paving stones.
“I stood down!” cried Geels, cradling his hand. “I stood down!”
“You draw on me again, I’ll break both your wrists, and you’ll have to hire someone to help you take a piss.” Kaz tipped the brim of his hat up with the head of his cane. “Or maybe you can get the lovely Elise to do it for you.”
Kaz crouched down beside Bolliger. The big man whimpered. “Look at me, Bolliger. Assuming you don’t bleed to death tonight, you have until sunset tomorrow to get out of Ketterdam. I hear you’re anywhere near the city limits, and they’ll find you stuffed in a keg at Cilla’s Fry.” Then he looked at Geels. “You help Bolliger, or I find out he’s running with the Black Tips, don’t think I won’t come after you.”