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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“And you’ve been chasing it ever since.”

He nodded. “I should have stayed in the library. I won. I lost. I lost some more. I needed money so I started taking on work with the gangs. Two guys jumped me in an alley one night. Kaz took them down, and we started doing jobs together.”

“He probably hired those boys to attack you so you’d feel indebted to him.”

“He wouldn’t—” Jesper stopped short, and then he laughed. “Of course he would.” Jesper flexed his knuckles, concentrated on the lines of his palms. “Kaz is … I don’t know, he’s like nobody else I’ve ever known. He surprises me.”

“Yes. Like a hive of bees in your dresser drawer.”

Jesper barked a laugh. “Just like that.”

“So what are we doing here?”

Jesper turned back to the sea, feeling his cheeks heat. “Hoping for honey, I guess. And praying not to get stung.”

Inej bumped her shoulder against his. “Then at least we’re both the same kind of stupid.”

“I don’t know what your excuse is, Wraith. I’m the one who can never walk away from a bad hand.”

She looped her arm in his. “That makes you a rotten gambler, Jesper. But an excellent friend.”

“You’re too good for him, you know.”

“I know. So are you.”

“Shall we walk?”

“Yes,” Inej said, falling into step beside him. “And then I need you to distract Nina, so I can go search for my knives.”

“No problem. I’ll just bring up Helvar.” Jesper glanced back at the wheel as they set off down the opposite side of the deck. Kaz hadn’t moved. He was still watching them, his eyes hard, his face as unreadable as ever.

 

 

 

18

 

KAZ

 

It took two days after she emerged from the surgeon’s cabin for Kaz to make himself approach Inej. She was sitting by herself, legs crossed, back to the hull of the ship, sipping a cup of tea.

Kaz limped over to her. “I want to show you something.”

“I’m well, thank you for asking,” she said, looking up at him. “How are you?”

He felt his lips twist. “Splendid.” Awkwardly, he lowered himself down beside her and set aside his cane.

“Is your leg bad?”

“It’s fine. Here.” He spread Wylan’s drawing of the prison sector between them. Most of Wylan’s plans showed the Ice Court from above, but the prison elevation was a side view, a cross section showing the building’s floors stacked on top of one another.

“I’ve seen it,” Inej said. She ran her finger from the basement up to the roof in a straight line. “Six stories up a chimney.”

“Can you do it?”

Her dark brows rose. “Is there another option?”

“No.”

“So if I say I can’t make that climb, will you tell Specht to turn the boat around and take us back to Ketterdam?”

“I’ll find another option,” said Kaz. “I don’t know what, but I’m not giving up that haul.”