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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Eyes now,” she said around the candy as she pulled a tiny bottle from her case. “You’ll have to keep them open.”

“What is that?” he asked nervously.

“A tincture developed by a Grisha named Genya Safin. It’s the safest way to change eye color.”

Again she leaned in. Her cheeks were rosy from the cold, her mouth slightly open. Her lips were bare inches from his. If he sat up straighter, they’d be kissing.

“You have to look at me,” she instructed.

I am. He shifted his gaze to hers. Do you remember this shore, Nina? he wanted to ask, though he knew she must.

“What color are you making my eyes?”

“Shhh. This is difficult.” She dabbed the drops onto her fingers and held them close to his eyes.

“Why can’t you just put them in?”

“Why can’t you stop talking? Do you want me to blind you?”

He stopped talking.

Finally, she drew back, gaze roving over his features. “Brownish,” she said. Then she winked. “Like toffee.”

“What do you intend to do about Bo Yul-Bayur?”

She straightened and stepped away, her expression shuttering. “What do you mean?”

He was sorry to see her easy manner go, but that didn’t matter. He glanced over his shoulder to make sure no one was listening. “You know exactly what I mean. I don’t believe for a second you’ll let these people hand Bo Yul-Bayur over to the Kerch Merchant Council.”

She put the bottle back in one of the little drawers. “We’ll have to do this at least two more times before we get to the Ice Court so I can deepen the color. Get your things together. Kaz wants us ready to leave on the hour.” She snapped the top of the case closed and picked up the shackles. Then she was gone.

*   *   *

 

By the time they bid their goodbyes to the ship’s crew, the sky had turned from pink to gold.

“See you in Djerholm harbor,” Specht called. “No mourners.”

“No funerals,” the others replied. Strange people.

Brekker had been frustratingly tight-lipped about how exactly they were going to reach Bo Yul-Bayur and then get out of the Ice Court with the scientist in tow, but he’d been clear that once they had their prize, the Ferolind was their escape route. It had papers bearing the Kerch seal and indicating that all fees and applications had been made for representatives of the Haanraadt Bay Company to transport furs and goods from Fjerda to Zierfoort, a port city in south Kerch.

They began the march from the rocky shore up the cliff side. Spring was coming, but ice was still thick on the ground, and it was a tough climb. When they reached the top of the cliff, they stopped to catch their breath. The Ferolind was still visible on the horizon, its sails full of the wind that whipped at their cheeks.

“Saints,” said Inej. “We’re actually doing this.”

“I’ve spent every minute of every miserable day wishing to be off that ship,” said Jesper. “So why do I suddenly miss it?”