This story is about Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. If you have never read Poison Study or the two books after it(Magic Study and Fire Study) then sdon't read te story and go to your local library and check all three books out. When that is done then you may read.

"Checkmate. I win again."

"Yelena, I give up. This game is pointless." Valek said frustrated. I had taught Valek how to play chess and I won every single game we had played. He knew the rules of the game but he had horrible strategies. I thought with his job he would beat me on the first or second game. I was wrong.

"Look at it this way. Your king is the Commander. The queen is you."

"Yelena I'm not a girl and I'm not married to the Commander. You should know that."

"Valek that's not the point. The queen is you because the queen can kill anyone and move anywhere, like an assassin."

"Oh okay, continue."

"Your pawns are your soldiers. Your knights are Ari ad Janco. And the rest of your pieces are your spies. You control everyone and your mission it to take out my king while protecting the Commander. The worst thing you can do is lose your queen or assassin. Now make a plan." I explained.

"This is starting to sound like my kind of game." Valek said.

We played five more game and Valek won them all. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. But Valek wanted to keep on playing. At that moment Ari and Janco walked into the living room of Valek's safe house in Sitia.

"Wow you guys are still playing that game? I thought by now you two would be upstairs and warming each other up." Janco said. He and Ari burst out laughing.

"At least Valek gets action from a girl!" I yelled at Janco. His face fell.

"I've had a couple of times with a girl." Janco said defensively.

"Ari doesn't count." Valek said. Valek and I collapsed with laughter. Ari and Janco's faces reddened with anger.

"Okay, how many times have you guys actually done anything?" Ari said.

"Starting now or form before?" Valek said as he lifted me from my seat and began to carry me upstairs.

"Let's have a 'contest'!" Janco exclaimed.

"So you and Ari against me and Valek? Valek they just might beat us, seeing the way Janco looks at Ari." I said.

"Not if I can help it." Valek said smiling. Ari and Janco groaned, Valek laughed softly. Valek continued up the stairs with me. We were determined to win that "contest".

"You two better get right to work or we'll beat you." I mocked.

"We better get to work right away if we want to catch up with those two. Oh and don't break any of my furniture." Valek said. We laughed the whole way to the bedroom, then the "contest" was on.

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