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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

The pain in Kaz’s leg was terrible, the worst it had been since he’d first broken it falling off the roof of a bank near the Geldstraat. It was possible he’d fractured the bone again. Inej’s weight wasn’t helping, but when Jesper stepped into his path to offer help, Kaz shoved past him.

“Where’s Nina?” Kaz snarled.

“Seeing to the wounded below. She already took care of me.” Dimly Kaz registered the dried blood on Jesper’s thigh. “Wylan got dinged during the fight. Let me help you—”

“Get out of my way,” Kaz said, and plunged past him down the ramp that led belowdecks.

He found Nina tending to Wylan in a narrow cabin, her hands drifting over his arm, knitting the flesh of the bullet wound together. It was barely a graze.

“Move,” Kaz demanded, and Wylan practically leapt from the table.

“I’m not finished—” began Nina. Then she caught sight of Inej. “Saints,” she swore. “What happened?”

“Knife wound.”

The cramped cabin was lit by several bright lanterns and a stash of clean bandages had been laid out on a shelf beside a bottle of camphor. Gently, Kaz placed Inej on the table that had been bolted to the deck.

“That’s a lot of blood,” Nina said on a low breath.

“Help her.”

“Kaz, I’m a Heartrender, not a real Healer.”

“She’ll be dead by the time we find one. Get to work.”

“You’re in my light.”

Kaz stepped back into the passageway. Inej lay perfectly still on the table, her luminous brown skin dull in the swaying lamplight.

He was alive because of Inej. They all were. They’d managed to fight their way out of a corner, but only because she’d prevented them from being surrounded. Kaz knew death. He could feel its presence on the ship now, looming over them, ready to take his Wraith. He was covered in her blood.

“Unless you can be useful, go away,” Nina said without looking up at him. “You’re making me nervous.” He hesitated, then stomped back the way he’d come, stopping to purloin a clean shirt from another cabin. He shouldn’t be this shaken up by a dock brawl, even a shoot-out, but he was. Something inside him felt frayed and raw. It was the same feeling he’d had as a boy, in those first desperate days after Jordie’s death.

Say you’re sorry. That was the last thing Inej had said to him. What had she wanted him to apologize for? There were so many possibilities. A thousand crimes. A thousand stupid jibes.

On deck, he took a deep breath of sea air, watching the harbor and Ketterdam fade from view on the horizon.

“What the hell just happened?” Jesper asked. He was leaning against the railing, his rifle beside him. His hair was mussed, his pupils dilated. He seemed almost drunk, or like he’d just rolled out of someone’s bed. He always had that look after a fight. Helvar was bent over the railing, vomiting. Not a sailor, apparently. At some point they’d need to shackle his legs again.