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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“Let’s say my currency carries more sway.”

“Money is money.”

“I trade in information, Geels, the things men do when they think no one is looking. Shame holds more value than coin ever can.”

He was grandstanding, Inej saw that, buying her time as she leapt over the slate shingles.

“Are you worrying about the second guard? Good old Bert Van Daal?” Kaz asked. “Maybe he’s up there right now, wondering what he should do. Shoot me? Shoot Holst? Or maybe I got to him, too, and he’s getting ready to blow a hole in your chest, Geels.” He leaned in as if he and Geels were sharing a great secret. “Why not give Van Daal the order and find out?”

Geels opened and closed his mouth like a carp, then bellowed, “Van Daal!”

Just as Van Daal parted his lips to answer, Inej slipped up behind him and placed a blade to his throat. She’d barely had time to pick out his shadow and slide down the roof tiles. Saints, Kaz liked to cut it close.

“Shhhh,” she whispered in Van Daal’s ear. She gave him a tiny jab in the side so that he could feel the point of her second dagger pressed against his kidney.

“Please,” he moaned. “I—”

“I like it when men beg,” she said. “But this isn’t the time for it.”

Below, she could see Geels’ chest rising and falling with panicked breaths. “Van Daal!” he shouted again. There was rage on his face when he turned back to Kaz. “Always one step ahead, aren’t you?”

“Geels, when it comes to you, I’d say I have a running start.”

But Geels just smiled—a tiny smile, tight and satisfied. A victor’s smile, Inej realized with fresh fear.

“The race isn’t over yet.” Geels reached into his jacket and pulled out a heavy black pistol.

“Finally,” Kaz said. “The big reveal. Now Jesper can stop keening over Bolliger like a wet-eyed woman.”

Jesper stared at the gun with stunned, furious eyes. “Bolliger searched him. He … Oh, Big Bol, you idiot,” he groaned.

Inej couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The guard in her arms released a tiny squeak. In her anger and surprise, she’d accidentally tightened her grip. “Relax,” she said, easing her hold. But, all Saints, she wanted to put a knife through something. Big Bolliger had been the one to pat down Geels. There was no way he could have missed the pistol. He’d betrayed them.

Was that why Kaz had insisted on bringing Big Bolliger here tonight—so he’d have public confirmation that Bolliger had gone over to the Black Tips? It was certainly why he’d let Holst put a bullet in Bolliger’s gut. But so what? Now everyone knew Big Bol was a traitor. Kaz still had a gun pointed at his chest.

Geels smirked. “Kaz Brekker, the great escape artist. How are you going to wriggle your way out of this one?”

“Going out the same way I came in.” Kaz ignored the pistol, turning his attention to the big man lying on the ground. “Do you know what your problem is, Bolliger?” He jabbed at the wound in Big Bol’s stomach with the tip of his cane. “That wasn’t a rhetorical question. Do you know what your biggest problem is?”