The Bridge Game
by Jerry Guarino
Hannah and Jim were bridge
partners. They knew each others moves and
had an instinct for finessing. No matter what the
situation, they were able to adapt and play the
right card. Bridge wasnt just a game for
them; the deception and gambits were part of
their personality. Their best friends, Kate and
John, were experienced players, but they didnt
have deception in their nature.
Hannah secretly wanted to make John her partner,
but not in bridge. She decided she could use Kate
to bridge her way to John, if she played her
cards right. Not that she didnt care for
Jim; she just wanted a little change, if only for
Would you excuse us gentlemen? said
Hannah. Jim and John rose out of their seats
chivalrously while the women went to the ladies
room. The two couples had been friends since
college, the boys playing on the same soccer team
while Hannah and Kate both played field hockey.
Athletes make such beautiful mates but sometimes
have trouble with commitment.
Hannah examined her makeup in the mirror. Kate,
isnt Johns birthday coming up?
Kate brushed out her chestnut brown hair. Of
course Han, its this Saturday. Im
planning a surprise trip to a B&B in Maine.
Hannah feigned interest. And have you
picked out a gift yet?
Kate looked at her good friend suspiciously.
Why do you want to know?
Hannah took out her lipstick. Just curious.
Jims birthday is coming up too. Im
looking for ideas.
Kate relaxed. Well ok then. I found this
lobsterman that will take you out when he gets
his traps to choose two choice lobsters. Then
when you get back to shore, their restaurant will
cook them for you as you sit beside a fireplace
listening to jazz, all of Johns favorite
Hannah held her long, blond hair back and pulled
it through red velvet scrunchy. Well, that
will certainly set the mood; did you also get
something new to wear?
Kate winked and held out her phone. Somas
new chemise, black satin and lace.
Hannah reapplied her lipstick. Very nice.
That should do the trick. What about
you and Jim? Do you guys have plans? said
I have an idea. Youre going up
Saturday morning, right? Yes
said Kate, now intrigued.
Well, Ill get Jim to take me there
too. We can have the boys to ourselves all of
Saturday, then get together for a surprise Sunday
brunch and spend the afternoon together.
She gave Kate an encouraging smile.
OK. That sounds like fun, as long as you
dont expect us too early on Sunday.
She gave Hannah a knowing wink. And just
make sure you dont run into us on Friday
night by accident.
Hannah reassured her. Dont worry.
Just tell me where youre staying and what
restaurant youre going to.
Kate was playing right into Hannahs plan.
Jim was well aware of his friends upcoming
birthday. So John, your 25th is coming up,
John smiled. Yeah, Kate has some special
surprise planned involving a 2-hour drive. I have
to wear a blindfold; good thing I have an audible
book to listen to.
Jim laughed. Well, I hope she doesnt
kidnap you until you propose. John smiled
at Jim like he had just discovered something.
Jims mouth opened. You are going to
propose! Good for you my friend. You two are
John pulled out the ring. What do you think?
Jim pretended to be blinded by the sparkle.
Nice. Will it be a surprise?
Yeah. Completely. And since it will be on
my birthday, I wont forget the anniversary
Smart, now if you can set the wedding date
for a year later, you wont forget any of
those dates women want us to remember. Jim
and John high-fived. Just like when we
would take the lead with a few minutes left, keep
it simple, score, and then play defense.
Driving into Freeport,
Hannah put her plan into action. Jim, dear.
Heres what Id like to do today. Lets
check in, make love, then do some shopping. Beans
has the new seasons clothing in and you
need a new jacket.
OK. And what about tonight?
I have a surprise for you. The Celtics are
playing the Bulls. You go have bar food and watch
the game and then come back to the room at 9pm
for dessert. She gave Jim that wink.
And what are you getting for dessert?
Theres a gourmet cupcake store next
to a Victorias Secret. Ill find
something you like.
Chocolate cupcakes and Hannah were two of Jims
favorite meals. Maybe I should skip the
Hannah shook her head and reminded Jim of post
game celebrations in college. No, you were
always hungrier after soccer games and she
leaned over to kiss his neck. Besides, I
want to have an elegant lobster dinner by myself
after shopping, not burgers and beer.
Meanwhile, Kate and John dropped off their bags
at the B&B, and then joined the captain on
his boat to get the lobsters. The salty air and
romantic scenery might be the place for John to
propose, but he thought he should wait until
dinner. He wouldnt want some bounce from a
wave to send the ring into the Atlantic. They
returned to the restaurant and were seated for
dinner, next to a fireplace with jazz music
playing, just as Kate had planned.
Kate and John had an intimate dinner, taking
their time. John was waiting for the right moment
to propose. During dessert would be perfect
he thought. But when Kate finished her lobster,
she got up and motioned John to stay seated.
Sweetheart, were going to have
dessert and your birthday present upstairs, ok? Ill
text you when Im ready. Relax and enjoy the
Kate walked out of the restaurant to their B&B
across the street. When she reached the entrance,
she saw Hannah. Han! Youre not
staying here too, are you?
No, Kate. I was just going to meet Jim for
dinner. Hes watching the Celts at the bar
over there pointing down the street. Do
you have time for a drink?
Kate looked her watch. Sure, a quick one.
John is still in the restaurant but I told him
that I would let him know when to come up. Come,
I want to show you this
beautiful room we have on the second floor.
They quickly walked up the stairway to the corner
room overlooking the marina.
Han, pour us a glass of wine, while I get
ready. Hannah nodded as Kate went into the
Hannah poured out two glasses, then added a
hypnotic to Kates glass. Hannah knew that
the drug would only make her fall asleep for an
hour or so, without any memory of what happened.
Kate returned with the sexy new lingerie on.
What do you think?
Wow, hes going to be taking that off
you really fast. Hope he doesnt tear it.
Kate smiled at her best friends suggestion.
Hannah toasted Kate with the wine. Heres
to a great night for both of us. Then well
see you again for brunch tomorrow at 11.
As they talked, Kate began to sway, and then fell
over on the bed. Hannah tucked her in, took Kates
cell phone and texted John.
present is waiting in room 3B; get the key and
Hannah made sure to clear
the history of texts from Kates phone after
it was sent. Then she rushed over to her room and
got ready for John.
John read the text, left his after dinner drink
half-finished, a hundred dollar bill on the check
and hurried to the innkeeper. Room 3B
The man smiled at John, gave him the key and
When he got to the door, he found a darkened room,
with soft, flickering light from candles and
moonlight from the window. Jazz music was playing
from a phone on the dresser. The air had a slight
scent of Kates perfume. He undressed
quietly, got under the covers, then unknowingly
began making love to Hannah; his caresses were
received with soft moaning.
Mmm, John. Dont stop. When John
reached her face and kissed her, he realized that
this wasnt Kate at all. Hannah smiled
sweetly and whispered happy birthday,
Hannah? Thinking that Kate must have
set this up as his present, John enthusiastically
continued making love with the blond schemer.
Meanwhile Kate was sleeping in her room.
After an hour, John was tired but wondering what
was next. Ready to go again? he asked
Sorry handsome. Time for you to go.
Hannah stroked his face. Wish you could
stay. Maybe we can do this again sometime.
John gave her one more kiss, realizing this might
be the last woman he would sleep with before
getting married to Kate. Thanks Hannah. You
know Ive been wanting to do that since
Hannah gave him a goodbye hug. Me too lover.
Now back to your room, 2D. Kate's waiting for you.
John found Kate asleep under the covers. He
undressed and cuddled up next to her. He began
stroking her hair when Kate regained
John, hi. Guess I fell asleep. Happy
You shouldnt have Kate. This was the
best birthday ever and I want to make it even
better. He took the ring out. You are
the one I want to spend my life with. Please
Kate perked up. Yes, of course I will.
Then the newly engaged couple made love and slept
until morning. Kate never remembered seeing
Hannah or being drugged.
Back in room 3D, Hannah had to clean up before
Jim returned from the bar. She arranged the
cupcakes along with champagne on a table. She
took a quick shower, brushed her teeth and hair,
and then changed into the new lingerie from VS.
She was careful not to leave any clues of her
deception. Then she heard a knock on the door,
noticed that it was 9 oclock and answered
sweetly. Come in.
Jim came in and quickly undressed. Perfect.
Would you like some champagne and cupcakes,
Those can wait, Im ready for dessert
first. Jim and Hannah were very good
together and Jim never realized what had happened
earlier that night. They made love, had champagne
and cupcakes and then made love once more. Then
they both slept in.
Hannah got up first, showered, dressed, then woke
up Jim. I found a great place for brunch.
We have a reservation for 11. You get ready. Im
going out to get some last minute things at Beans.
Jim gave Hannah a hug and kiss. OK, dear. Ill
wait for you downstairs at 10:45.
Hannah left the B&B quietly, before John and
Kate would be leaving for brunch. She got in her
car and headed for L.L. Bean, about a mile away.
As she drove, she remembered her night with John,
how she finally got to make love with him and
wondered how life would have been different if
she had been with him. One night was
not enough for her; she was considering a longer
affair, something she would have to keep from
Kate. She decided to send John a text. But it
would have to be innocent enough to keep Kate
from getting suspicious.
Birthday John! I hope I can find something
special for you when you get back to Boston.
After hitting send,
she looked up and realized her car was heading
straight for a canal, as the winding roads in
Maine will do. She turned the wheel just in time
to avoid the water, but hit the bridge hard. The
air bag deployed and she lay there unconscious.