A wicked gleam came into Caspian's eyes and with one swift movement, Edmund found himself pinned for the third time that night.

"You've been on a roll for hours," he groaned, battling to stay focused in spite of himself. "Don't you ever get tired?"

The Telmarine shook his head, still grinning, his eyes daring Edmund to deny him his conquest. It was a challenge Edmund could not refuse. Caspian would take him eventually, but he could play with him until then. His own hand darted out, and Caspian, caught unawares, hissed sharply.

"Where did you learn that?" he gasped, staring at Edmund in open astonishment.

"Peter showed me once." Edmund was enjoying his advantage – it wasn't often he managed to get the upper hand over the King.

It was getting harder to make conversation, though. The tension was mounting with each move of their practiced hands, and it was all Edmund could do not to cave in under the onslaught.

And then, when he felt he absolutely couldn't bear it for one more minute, Caspian's eyes locked with his and he whispered that one word that sent Edmund over the edge.

"Checkmate."

"Blast it all!" cried Edmund, rolling his king across the chessboard in disgust. "You're much too good at this. It isn't fair."

"Perhaps you are just out of practice," said Caspian consolingly. "Would you care for another game, to sharpen your skills?"

Edmund sighed. On the one hand, he didn't think he could bear another crushing defeat. On the other, it had been years since he'd had the opportunity to play a decent game of chess. Peter, for all his skill in battle strategy, was hopeless.

"Sure. I'm white again."


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