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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

Kaz managed to endure it all the way past the iron railings of Zentzbridge, the grating covered in little bits of rope tied in elaborate knots, sailors’ prayers for safe return from sea. Superstitious rot. Finally he gave in and said, “Spit it out already, Wraith.”

Her voice came from the dark. “You didn’t send anyone to Burstraat.”

“Why would I?”

“If Geels doesn’t get there in time—”

“No one’s setting fires at Nineteen Burstraat.”

“I heard the siren…”

“A happy accident. I take inspiration where I find it.”

“You were bluffing, then. She was never in danger.”

Kaz shrugged, unwilling to give her an answer. Inej was always trying to wring little bits of decency from him. “When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

“Why did you even agree to the meet if you knew it was a setup?” She was somewhere to the right of him, moving without a sound. He’d heard other members of the gang say she moved like a cat, but he suspected cats would sit attentively at her feet to learn her methods.

“I’d call the night a success,” he said. “Wouldn’t you?”

“You were nearly killed. So was Jesper.”

“Geels emptied the Black Tips’ coffers paying useless bribes. We’ve outed a traitor, reestablished our claim on Fifth Harbor, and I don’t have a scratch on me. It was a good night.”

“How long have you known about Big Bolliger?”

“Weeks. We’re going to be short-staffed. That reminds me, let Rojakke go.”

“Why? There’s no one like him at the tables.”

“Lots of sobs know their way around a deck of cards. Rojakke is a little too quick. He’s skimming.”

“He’s a good dealer, and he has a family to provide for. You could give him a warning, take a finger.”

“Then he wouldn’t be a good dealer anymore, would he?”

When a dealer was caught skimming money from a gambling hall, the floor boss would cut off one of his pinkie fingers. It was one of those ridiculous punishments that had somehow become codified in the gangs. It threw off the skimmer’s balance, forced him to relearn his shuffle, and showed any future employer that he had to be watched. But it also made him clumsy at the tables. It meant he was focusing on simple things like the mechanics of the deal instead of watching the players.

Kaz couldn’t see Inej’s face in the dark, but he sensed her disapproval.

“Greed is your god, Kaz.”

He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

“And what god do you serve, then?”

“Whichever will grant me good fortune.”

“I don’t think gods work that way.”

“I don’t think I care.”

She blew out an exasperated breath. Despite everything she’d been through, Inej still believed her Suli Saints were watching over her. Kaz knew it, and for some reason he loved to rile her. He wished he could read her expression now. There was always something so satisfying about the little furrow between her black brows.