Julia Higgins is a girl from New York, she's the youngest of five children and she's also Chris Higgins' baby sister. Back when Chris was still playing with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2007-2008 season, Julia got accepted to study at McGill University in Montreal. Graciously her older brother gave her a place to stay, but her being only 18, fresh out of high school and in her first year of university, she has more things on her mind, especially when she finds herself getting involved with one of her brother's teammates, Carey Price. After living with Carey for 2 of those 3 years that have now passed, her parents still don't approve of Carey, but now new emotions towards Carey arise and she feels the need of change in her life. The only option that she feels she's left with is being with the only person who stood by her side... her older brother Chris. Now that she has left Montreal and moved out West to Vancouver, where her brother now plays, she thinks that she's in for a new start while her brother believes history is starting to repeat itself.
*Well I've got to say that I'm not my proudest with this chapter and it was also originally supposed to posted awhile ago... But I guess it's better to have it posted now rather then never. Enjoy.*
As we wrap up our first road game of this playoff series, winning, giving us a 3 – 0 lead. And I gotta say that it does feel good to win against the Hawks in front of their fans in their home building even though at the moment we’re all being bombarded by the media for our views surrounding the controversy about the couple hits Raffi put on Seabrook.
After we all got cleaned up and spoke with the media about tonight’s game, we all eventually made our way out of the building to the bus to take us back to the hotel. As we make our walk out of the arena, I reach into my pocket for my cell to call Jules but see that she has already texted me a few times. When I finish reading through her texts, beginning to walking through the seats … I’m about to dial her number when my cell begins to ring and a familiar name pops up on the screen.
“Christopher Robert Higgins!”
Ugh… this can’t be good.
“Hi Mom, how ya doing?”
“No ‘How ya doing?’ me, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“What do you mean, Mom? I don’t what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t act like you don’t know Christopher! You know what I’m talking about!”
“Actually no I don’t know what you’re talking about, so tell me.” I say trying to keep my cool, since it is my mother who I’m talking with.
“Where’s your sister?! I’ve been calling her cell phone all day yesterday and today and she hasn’t been answering. But last night I tried to called her at home in Montreal but Carey answered.” She quickly pauses to catch her breath and then continued on her rant, “And supposedly she doesn’t live there anymore, so I’m guessing you know something about this.”
I’m paralyzed I can’t say a word realizing that Julia never told Mom about her and Carey, like she promised me she would before the playoffs started. As my mother continues on yelling into my ear, I’m still silent, while I slowly making my way down the aisle to my usual seat one row in front of Max, who by the way I see is talking on his cell phone to someone as well. With a big stupid smile spread across his face, knowing him he has a girl hanging on the line back in Vancouver. As I get closer I begin to remember that back in Montreal he had a thing for Julia.
Shit!It’s Julia on the other end of that line.
“Well… do you know anything of this or not!” my mother finishing off her rant.
“Mom, I’ll have to call you back when I get to the hotel, okay. Bye.” I quickly hang up my phone not answering her question nor listening to what else she has to say.
“Is that Julia you’re talking too?” I ask as I raise an eyebrow over at Lapi, as I standing in the aisle right beside him.
He nods no and immediately tries to wrap up his conversation.
“Baby, I’ll call you later.” He finishes and is about to hang up his blackberry when I reach over and grab it but the line goes dead before I have the chance to say anything.
“What the fuck’s up with you?” he yells to me taking a defence as he gets up from his seat, trying to snatch his phone away from me. I spin around to avoid his reach and make my way back up towards the front of the bus. Not knowing whether or not he’s was going to follow right behind me as I find another seat but then again, I could care less if he had the urge to punch me. If that’s what it takes to protect me little sister from getting her heart broken again, so be it.
Feeling an even stronger gut feeling that it was indeed Julia on the other end of the line, I look through his call history. My heart sinks a bit as I notice that her number is coming up numerous times, including the call that just occurred now. Without thinking about what I was doing, I highlighted her number and press send. As the phone begins to ring, I wonder if she’s even going to answer at all, but after a few rings I hear her come onto the line.
Still angry and upset about my little sister getting involved with another man who I see is no different from Carey; I just lose it as soon as she answers.
“Bonjour, that didn’t take you long...”
“Julia, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“Chris!? … What the fuck are you doing with Max’s blackberry?”
“Never mind that; what the fuck are you doing with Max?”
“Jesus, Chris, why the hell do you care who I see? It’s none of your damn business!”
“You’re my little sister; you’re in my care now so I’d say it is my business. I should know these things!”
“My God, I am not five years-old anymore. I don’t need yours or anyone else’s protect-”
I try to cut her off but as she’s still continues to argue with me, I move onto the real reason why I’m calling her, “Why the hell didn’t you tell Mom about you and Carey?”
She fell silent for a second.
“Fuck.” I hear her sigh, “She just called you didn’t she?”
“Yeah… and she called up Carey. She still thought that you and Carey were together. He spilled the beans.”
“What did you tell her?”
“Nothing; I just told her I’d call her back.”
“I’m sorry Chris,” I hear her voice beginning to crack, “I just didn’t know how to tell her. You know that; you know I’m too scared to admit that they’re right and I’m wrong.”
“Julia, you’re right, I do know that and they’ll be blunt telling you that you’re wrong, but you know what…” I pause, “It’s not your hide they will want, its mine. I’m the one who said I’d look after you and I didn’t.”
“No, you’re not at fault, I pulled you into this, I made you prom-”
“No Julia…” I cut her off as I just come to that realization, “Back when you began dating Carey, I promised to keep you safe, but I let you get hurt. So I’m just as at fault too.”
As we fall silent for a second again, we are just pulling up to the lobby of the hotel when she breaks the silence.
“I’ll call her now. I can’t keep avoiding her. I’ll let you know how it goes.”
“Good luck, love ya little sis.”
“Thanks bro, love ya too, by the way congrats for tonight.
“Oh, and kick some Chicago butt for me.”
“Ha, will do.See you in a few days.”
“Yeah, good night Chris.”
“Good night Jules.”
We end our conversation and it seems as though everyone has exited off the bus, except for Lapi, who’s now able to snatch his phone out of my hand.
“So… I guess the cat’s out of the bag now huh?”
“Yeah, but I’m still not done with you yet.” I answer, getting up from my seat, “I’ll be watching you.”
“I won’t hurt her, if that’s what you’re worried about.” He defends himself as we exit the bus and walk into the lobby, “I’m not Carey. I wouldn’t make the same mistakes he did.”
“I’ll still be watching you, so you damn well better make good on your word.” I make my promise as I leave to the back of the lobby to the elevator to go crash and get ready for tomorrow.
Coming back to Montreal from Boston after playing good in games one and two, I feel like I could be the king of the world. Once I open the door to our apartment though, it’s like a tidal wave has hit me, her scent still lingers about the apartment. It may have been just over a month now since she has left, but this space still feels just as empty as it did when I came home that first time, finding her gone. So now that I'm left with no girl to come home to, to either celebrate the good road trips or help me get through the bad ones, her not being here anymore is only the reason I need to try and spend the least amount of time here as possible.
Despite having no partner in crime anymore as well, that didn’t stop me from going out almost every night. I went bar hopping from club to club until I found the right girl to leave with and head back to her place which helped me avoid the apartment at all costs.
Reluctantly tonight though I stay in, I hang up my keys on the key rack, throw my bags inside the door of the bedroom then walk to the kitchen to the fridge to grab myself a beer. As I make my way to the couch, I grab the remote from the top of the bookshelf and turn the TV to TSN to watch the highlights of the games this evening. The Rangers beat the Caps 3 -2, but they’re still behind the Caps who have a 2 – 1 series lead. The Canucks out-scored the Hawks 3 – 2, taking a 3 – 0 series lead. Then the Preds won over the Ducks 4 – 3, furthering their lead 2 – 1.
Sitting on the couch with a beer in hand, staring at the TV screen, I start to think about what Gio had told me a couple of weeks ago. I know now that deep down he was only concerned about me but back then I couldn’t be angrier when he brought up my ways of coping a couple of times within that last week of the regular season. The first time was the night after our last game against Buffalo then again after our last game against Washington, them both resulting in 2 – 0 losses at home. He also at that time commented on my current use of cologne, which had been a bit stronger, as well he commented on my clothing attire that had sometimes repeated itself into the following day.
He concluded that he could understand how I felt about losing a good friend and then a girlfriend so close together, but he suggested that I should try to cope with it in another way like trying to get in touch with Max again. I know I did a couple of times when he first got traded out to Anaheim, then the last time a couple of days after Julia left, but I never tried again. I felt an odd vibe after our conversation though.
A day or two after I talked with him, I heard that he was traded yet again, along with Julia’s brother Chris another former Hab who were both sent to the Vancouver Canucks but I really didn’t give it much thought, but before my thoughts went on any further, my land line phone begins to ring.
I throw back the last bit of beer that was left in the bottle, and I reach out for the phone to answer it as I get up and head to the kitchen to grab myself another beer.
“Hello?” I answer in more of a question, since I normally don’t have phone calls through my land line at this time of night.
“Hello?” the female voice answers just as confused.
“Who is this?”
“It’s Deborah, Julia’s mother.” She answers sternly, taking a defence.
“How come you’re calling here so late?” I demand.
“I am calling for my daughter. Although it is none of your business, but she hasn’t been answering her cell phone so I decided call her at home.”
“THIS isn’t her home anymore!” I yell into the receiver as I held it between my ear and should while I pop the cap off another beer.
“What?” she gasps as I take a swig of beer, barely even hearing her as I continue on with my rant.
“She left here a month ago! I don’t know where the hell she went and quite frankly I don’t fucking care!” I continue as I let out my anger and pain Julia has caused me out on her mother.
“What the do you mean she is gone?!” she snaps at me, “She is not gone, she said so...” then she suddenly cuts off and the goes dead.
"Bitch." I mutter as I hang up the phone, still angry I down the beer I just opened and I grab another from the fridge, open it and move myself back into the living room before I decide to down that one too and open another.
As I sit on my couch reflecting on the phone call that had just occurred, I remember that Deborah and Robert hated that I was seeing their youngest daughter and all of Julia’s siblings, except for Chris hated it too. Chris was the only one who tolerated her and me. That’s when this sudden epiphany, an almost instant realization.
I slam the bottle down onto the coffee table, reach into my pocket and pull out my cell phone, I scroll through my contacts and press talk when I find his number. It rings two times before it goes straight to voicemail.
You have reached the phone of Maxim Lapierre. You know wha…
Before I let the voicemail blurb finish, I hang up and throw the phone across the room.
“Damn it.” I mumble to myself as I hear the picture of her and me fall, hearing the glass shatter as it hits the floor. I grab my beer and take a mouthful before dropping my head into my hands.
I sit there for a few more minutes, piecing together it all, figuring out that after she left me, she found a place to stay with her brother in Vancouver. Then that rat bastard, Lapi got traded there too and saw it as his chance. I always knew that he had a soft spot for her and he’s finally has her for himself.
As I finish my beer I make my way to the broken picture that I didn’t want to wake up to anymore. When I reach the spot where most of the shattered pieces laid, I notice that the glass had made a scratch through Julia’s face. I may still be mad at her but as I’m throwing the broken pieces of glass in the trash, seeing that I ruined my last piece of her I had left, I couldn’t hate myself more for losing the woman who changed my life.
*AN: Okay, so I don't know if Chris Higgins has a (or any) sister(s), but I've made up one for this story anyways and also I do not know all that much French so there will a couple words in French here and there, but otherwise everything else will be written in English.
It’s been almost a month since I have left Montreal in hopes of a fresh start in my life. Although, I have honestly got to say that this city is not the one I had in mind of where I’d like to be doing so, but it has been the best decision I have made, in comparison to the alternative… Moving back home to New York.
Moving back to New York I knew was most definitely not going to be an option at all, considering that both my parents and most of my siblings didn’t like the fact that within the first month of moving to Montreal I got involved with a hockey player. I understand that they are only worried about me, since I’m the baby in the family and that they are only trying to protect me, especially after everything they heard about Carey from Chris. From him being this insane party animal that is always jumping from girl to girl just to get laid.
And, okay I can’t totally hate on my older brother Chris for telling our parents and three other siblings every little detail about Carey because Chris is the only one in our family who stuck by my side whenever the topic of mine and Carey’s relationship came into conversation. I'm sure it could be because when Carey and I first started seeing each other, the both of them were teammates with the Montreal Canadiens, and Chris knew he was able to always keep an eagle eye on Carey. As well he made it more than crystal clear to Carey that there were going to be consequence if he were to hurt me, as so I've heard Chris on numerous occasions.
Though there is also a part of me that knew, deep down that there was a small part of Chris that hated my relationship with Carey too because he knew our relationship for what it really was and he was worried about me becoming just another one of those girls. Being that as it was, Chris yet still to this day has kept it secret from Mom and Dad. So I’ll always be thankful to him for that. I also have to grateful for having such a close relationship with such an amazing big brother because, again, he was willing to give me a place to stay and keeping quiet about the recent news of me leaving Carey.
Although there was this one night when I thought for sure that Mom and Dad figured out that I left Carey as Chris almost had let the cat out of the bag when going onto Skype while I was in the shower and I come out getting caught in the crossfire of being seen in the background. I was able to make a quick recovery, saying that I flew out to Vancouver to help Chris with settle into Vancouver, saying he called me up to help him out because I lived closest to Vancouver and also that he had a broken thumb.
But now that I’ve been in Vancouver for awhile, everything seems to be going well. I've got myself a new job, and I'm back in school but I have also immersed myself in a good friendship with another former Canadien who also got traded to the Canucks this year. Even though my brother keeps insisting to me that history is starting to repeat itself again, as I am spending more and more time with him, I keep trying to tell him that he and I are nothing more than good friends. Now after what had happened last weekend after the Canucks came home from Calgary after playing their last regular season game, I don’t know if I can be so sure about my argument anymore...
“Bonjour.” a soft, French accented voice whispers into my ear, pulling me out of my unconscious state.
“Mmm…” I moan lightly as I turn myself around, still underneath his arm to face him. I open my eyes and I see Carey's face, so instantly I blink my eyes back shut, hoping that I didn't see what I just saw.
With my eyes still shut, I feel the stubble on his chin gently grazing against the side of my cheek, and his warm, minty smelling breath waving over my ear. He lets out a low moan as he inhales the vanilla scent; my shampoo has left on my hair as he slides his lips across to the middle of my forehead, where he places a kiss. He then begins to lightly kiss his way down my nose to my lips while he slides his hand between my head and the pillow, he intertwines his fingers in my hair, while grabbing the back of my neck, bringing my face in closer to his, intensifying the kiss.
I'm starting to feel similar to how I felt like when I was back with Carey, I began to fear that maybe I did just that. That in some twisted universe Carey came out to Vancouver and I snuck out of my brother’s condo last night to go be with him again. Just thinking those thoughts are making all those feelings feel way too familiar. But once feeling his other hand beginning to caress its way up my side, up underneath my shirt, I realize that Carey had never had hands that soft. So, as soon as I let myself relax, I wrap a leg around his waist, pulling him in closer, and as I let myself fall deeper into the kiss, his lips begin to part.
"Baby, you are worrying, I can feel it…” mumbles that same soft French accented voice while their still attached to my lips.
“You’re still worrying about what your brother's gonna think...” he pauses taking a bite on my bottom lip, “if he finds out about us?"
Pulling his face away from mine now so that he could watch me open my eyes again and wait for my response. I still have my leg locked onto his waist holding him as close to me as possible, I slowly reopen my eyes thankfully to see no Carey and that it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Waking up to see this man's smile sure lights up my morning, but only this time there was something else that I just couldn’t shake off.
For the next couple minutes I’m just transfixed studying his face before I reach up and wrap my arms around his neck, pulling myself in closer and bury my face into this shoulder. Soon later he begins to nibble at my ear then makes his way down to my neck which then he knows that I wouldn’t be able help but start talking.
“Yes, okay…” I answer through a weak smile, holding onto what’s really plaguing my mind I continue on with the subject of my brother.
“I guess so, but I kinda think that he already knows.”
“How?” he gives a little laugh.
“I understand that maybe he’s thinking there has been something more going on since we’ve been spending so much more time together lately, but nothing really happened until last night.” He flashes me an even bigger smile.
“I know that, but he’s still my brother and he feels protective of me. I am his baby sister after all.”
“And you know that I know that too, but it still doesn’t mean that he has to butt into your next relationship just because Carey was an asshole to you last time around.”
I’m smiling kind of like a child now as I reply to his last comment by asking him, “So what are you saying?”
Seeing him bite his lip trying to think of what he’s going to say, I make my move of running a hand down his chest, gently pinching the nipple as I continue to move my hand over his abs, sliding my fingers under the elastic band of his boxers finding he’s becoming aroused, so then I squeeze my thigh around his waist, hoping that he wouldn’t have any choice but to break, but only a slight flush comes across his face. I can tell that he knows that I’m trying to get him to elaborate on his use of the word ‘relationship’ so he avoids my question with a question.
“Did you have a good sleep last night?” he tries his best seductive voice as he tries his own moves on me.
“The best I've had in a long time." I play along trying to match the same tone.
Him catching on, he moves himself in closer to me then he quickly flips me over onto my back, giving me a rush.
“But really,” I continue, running a hand through his hair, “how much sleep did we really get?”
“Well, it’s eight o’clock now and…” he looks over to the clock while lowering his face closer to mine.
“I didn’t get back from Calgary with the team until probably about midnight,” he starts to tease me now, puckering his lips, lowering them as if to meet mine, but moves away just before our lips touch.
“And you met me here at about one o’clock, the time when I got home,” he pauses again, this time sitting me up so he can pull my shirt up over my head.
“And then we did this up against the wall… ” He continues as he’s moving one hand down on me rubbing my nub, and start kissing on my stomach.
“And then we did it on the table…” he murmurs against my skin, now as he’s cupping one breast with the other hand, rolling the nipple in-between his thumb and index finger, while still working on my nub, then slowly moving his fingers further down to my folds.
“After that we did it on the couch, then finally…” he moves his mouth up onto the other breast sucking on the nipple, at the same time he inserts two fingers inside me.
“Oh fuck!” I scream, arching my back.
“Shut up and fuck me already!”
“The bed…" he continued as he quickly squirmed out of his boxers, "but we probab didn get sleep ‘til… two hour go.” He quickly tries to finish what he was saying, making a small smirk spread across my face at him fumbling to speak English so quickly through this French accent.
He reaches over, opening the bedside dresser drawer, pulling out a condom. Opening the package quickly, he rolls it over his erection, and he slowly then inches himself into me, allowing me to adjust to his size.
“Oh God,” I rock my hips to match the speed of his thrusts.
“FUCK!” He begins to thrust harder now, “Damn, baby you’re so tight.”
“Yes, right there…” I dig my fingernails into his back.
“Cum for me, baby.” He demands as he’s feeling me tighten myself around him.
“MAXIM!” I muffle my scream as I bite into his shoulder, just as I’m about to reach my peak.
“Oh God, baby!” He pounds one last deep thrust as he reaches his own peak then soon rolls over to lie beside me.
As we lay there in bed, side by side, both of us trying to catch our breath, I realize that this is the exact thing I was trying to run away from when I was back in Montreal. This time though I sense that it's different; I don’t believe that he is another Carey.
Now feeling a pair of eyes staring at me, I turn my head to see that his brown eyes don’t even at all look empty as Carey’s did. As I continue again to study his face, I see him staring back at me as though he wants to devour me again. I lose myself into his as I stare into his eyes, but he pulls me back asking…
It hurts that I’m left to make this decision but we both know that neither of us can continue on living this way. We both know that we've failed to work our shit out and with every minute wasted of me waiting, only makes it worse and your resistance to everything, doesn't help either. I gave you my heart along with everything else I had and it never seemed to be enough but...
There will always be a part of me that loves you.
I crumple her note in one hand and throw it with all my might against the wall. Angry and frustrated with what she has done, after promising to me that she wouldn’t make any rash decisions while I was gone on the road. She looked me straight in the eye, with a straight face and I believed her.
I take in a couple of deep breathes trying to calm myself but it doesn’t work as the anger continues to rise. I begin to rustle around through my small living room now in hopes of finding myself just one cigarette, at the very least.
It's a habit I knew she hated with every fibre of her being, but it was something I couldn’t give up cold turkey. Whenever I was under stress or out drinking I always lit one up. I guess it started to become me needing a cigarette, or few, every day now. That couldn't be the only reason why she left, though, there has to be more than that.
After taking another quick scan over the room and another walk around the whole perimeter, I couldn't find even find just that one cigarette I wanted. Which right now, I really feel I need. With the anger of her broken promise and the frustration of not finding my cigarettes combining together, I throw my weight down onto the middle of the couch, throw my head back and shut my eyes.
How could she do that to me too? That just goes far beyond hatred for me.
But as bring my head back up, putting my head in one hand, I slowly open my eyes and see a carton of Canadian Classic Silver, in the middle of the coffee table, right in front of me. How could have I missed that?
I cautiously reach out for it and that's when a flash of stills of her and I run through my head. The stills of her pleading to me, of her trying to get me to, at the very least, work on quitting. Then there was me making excuses about not smoking all the time and that it's not an addiction.
As this memory passes now, I can't resist any longer, and I reach for the carton of cigarettes. And then there laid another note, folded in half with Carey written on the front of it. I could tell that it was her writing and I could see that she must have been mad when she wrote it, since I noticed the deep indents of the ink on the paper. It looks as though she almost tore through the paper writing it. Now having a bad feeling of it being one last stab at me for giving in. I pick it up and read it anyways.
This was the one thing I ever asked of you. And you never even tried to quit! I knew you couldn't resist. So, go ahead, light up another one! I give up. You don't want to listen to me. So I'm tired of trying.
This time when I'm done reading it, I folded the note back in half the way it was and placed it back on the coffee table and placed the carton of cigarettes beside the note. Suddenly, I don't feel the need for it anymore.
I get up from the couch and begin to wander through the apartment. First through the kitchen, because it's right off from the living room. Everything is so organized and clean. All because of her. Next, to the bathroom, just as clean and organized as the kitchen, but I found nothing of hers. No shampoos, no soaps, no creams, no lotions, nor candles, nothing. Now the bedroom. The bed is made, the floor is clean of towels and clothing, and the closet is nearly empty. Again, I see that nothing of hers is left. There was nothing left of her but a framed picture of the two of us that sits on the night stand on my side of the bed. I sit myself down on the edge of the bed, pick up the picture and just stared at it.
I remember that day this picture was taken. On the trip to Florida we took last summer with a few friends. They wanted to get a picture of us together, but she always hated getting her picture taken, so it never happened. That was until one day after a couple of drinks, having a good time; I noticed that our friends began to snap pictures. So I got in there and put a kiss on her cheek, as she was grinning from ear to ear. They managed to get that shot and I've got to say that it's the best picture of her.
It felt as though everything in our lives then seemed so simple. We didn't have any cares; we just lived in the moment. It was a great trip. If fact, I secretly booked tickets, just before this road trip, to go back there for her birthday this summer. So much for a big birthday surprise now.
Now that I put the picture back on the night stand, I lay myself back onto the bed.
I sure as hell never thought I ever feel this way, but all the time that we spent together, all the things that we shared; I guess a change in feelings was inevitable. I love her. I changed my ways when we moved in together. I was only committed to her.
We started out as just friends, hanging out together talking over a cup of coffee, going out for the occasional breakfast or lunch, and sometimes even going to the movies together. It never use to be anything more than that, but then all of a sudden, everything seemed to have changed. We became more than 'just friends'.
At some point we started going out more often and this time around we were going out to night clubs and sometimes getting a little too drunk, all of which led us from one thing to another.
It was just an innocent kiss the first time, but the second kiss took us further. We didn't just laugh it off and gone off on our separate ways, instead it took us to one place, my apartment, then on to my bedroom. The next thing I know, every piece of clothing we were wearing now is scattered across the floor.
We both had the same views on relationships and on commitment and we shared the same trait that we don't do relationships and we are incapable of anything long-term. So we weren't looking for anything serious, and we just were just looking to have some harmless fun.
But that night something brought us together, we stayed in bed until the first light broke through between the blinds the following morning. And we continued on this path ever since but like I said earlier, one thing led to another.
Both being young and stupid, we didn't care. We enjoyed each other's company and that's all that seemed to have mattered at the time. So I guess that's how we became friends with benefits. (if that's what you would like call it.)