Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
The water pressed at his chest, demanding that he part his lips. I won’t, he swore. But in the end, Kaz opened his mouth, and the water rushed in.
Inej’s heart careened against her ribs. On the aerial swings, there was a moment when you let go of one and reached for the next, when you realized you’d made a mistake and you no longer felt weightless, when you simply started to fall.
The guards hauled her back through the prison gate. There were many more guards and many more guns pointed at her than the first time she’d come through this courtyard, when she’d stepped off the prison wagon with the rest of the crew. They passed through the mouth of the wolf and up the stairs, and dragged her down the walkway through the corridor with its giant glass enclosure. Nina had translated the banner for her: Fjerdan might. She’d smirked at that the first time she’d passed, gazing down at the tanks and weapons, one eye on Kaz and the others on the opposite walkway. She’d wondered what kind of men needed to display their strength to helpless captives in chains.
The guards were moving too fast. For the second time that night, Inej made herself stumble.
“Move,” the soldier snapped in Kerch, dragging her forward.
“You’re going too quickly.”
He gave her arm a hard shake. “Stop stalling.”
“Don’t you want to meet our inquisitors?” the other asked her. “They’ll get you talking.”
“But you won’t look so pretty after they’re through.”
They laughed, and Inej’s stomach turned. She knew they’d spoken in Kerch to make sure she understood.
She thought she might be able to take them, despite their guns and even without her knives. Her hands weren’t bound, and they still thought they had a disgraced prostitute on their hands. Heleen had called her a criminal, but to them, she was only a little thief in scraps of purple silk.
Just as she was considering making her move, she heard other footsteps headed their way. She saw the silhouettes of two more men in uniform striding toward them. Could she manage four guards on her own? She wasn’t sure, but she knew that if they left this corridor behind, it was all over.
She glanced again at the banner in the glass enclosure. It was now or never.
She hooked her leg around the ankle of the guard to her left. He pitched forward, and she slammed her hand upward, breaking his nose.
The other raised his gun. “You’re going to pay for that.”
“You won’t shoot me. You need information.”
“I can shoot you in the leg,” he sneered, lowering his rifle.
Then he crumpled to the ground, a pair of beaten-up shears protruding from his back. The soldier standing behind him gave a cheery wave.
“Jesper,” she gasped in relief. “Finally.”
“I’m here, too, you know,” said Wylan.