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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

Through the grate she heard Kaz’s knock on Per Haskell’s door and the sound of his greeting.

“Back and still breathing?” the old man inquired. She could just see him seated in his favorite chair, fiddling with a model ship he’d been building for the better part of a year, a pint of lager within arm’s reach, as always.

“We won’t have a problem with Fifth Harbor again.”

Haskell grunted and returned to his model ship. “Close the door.”

Inej heard it shut, muffling the sounds from the hallway. She could see the top of Kaz’s head. His dark hair was damp. It must have started raining.

“You should have gotten permission from me to deal with Bolliger,” said Haskell.

“If I had talked to you first, word might have gotten out—”

“You think I’d let that happen?”

Kaz’s shoulders lifted. “This place is like anything in Ketterdam. It leaks.” Inej could have sworn he looked directly at the vent when he said it.

“I don’t like it, boy. Big Bolliger was my soldier, not yours.”

“Of course,” Kaz said, but they both knew it was a lie. Haskell’s Dregs were old guard, con men and crooks from another time. Bolliger had been one of Kaz’s crew—new blood, young and unafraid. Maybe too unafraid.

“You’re smart, Brekker, but you need to learn patience.”

“Yes, sir.”

The old man barked a laugh. “Yes, sir. No, sir,” he mocked. “I know you’re up to something when you start getting polite. Just what have you got brewing?”

“A job,” Kaz said. “I may need to be gone for a spell.”

“Big money?”

“Very.”

“Big risk?”

“That, too. But you’ll get your twenty percent.”

“You don’t make any major moves without my say-so, understood?” Kaz must have nodded because Per Haskell leaned back in his chair and took a sip of lager. “Are we to be very rich?”

“Rich as Saints in crowns of gold.”

The old man snorted. “Long as I don’t have to live like one.”

“I’ll talk to Pim,” Kaz said. “He can pick up the slack while I’m gone.” Inej frowned. Just where was Kaz going? He hadn’t mentioned any big job to her. And why Pim? The thought shamed her a bit. She could almost hear her father’s voice: So eager to be Queen of the Thieves, Inej? It was one thing to do her job and do it well. It was quite another to want to succeed at it. She didn’t want a permanent place with the Dregs. She wanted to pay off her debts and be free of Ketterdam forever, so why should she care if Kaz chose Pim to run the gang in his absence? Because I’m smarter than Pim. Because Kaz trusts me more. But maybe he didn’t trust the crew to follow a girl like her, only two years out of the brothels, not even seventeen years old. She wore her sleeves long and the sheath of her knife mostly hid the scar on the inside of her left forearm where the Menagerie tattoo had once been, but they all knew it was there.