Home > As We Are (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #5)

As We Are (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #5)
Author: Claudia Y. Burgoa



Hadley’s Prologue



You know what they say about small towns: they’re a little piece of real estate hell. Well, maybe saying they is an exaggeration. I am the one who says that.

I was born and raised in a hell hole called Baker’s Creek. The town is a two-hour drive east from Portland, near Mount Hood. Many of its residents love it, but some of us couldn’t wait to leave the place as soon as we were old enough to.

In my defense, I was the awkward kid who spent her free time in the library, worked at the ice cream parlor in Happy Springs—that’s the town next to Baker’s Creek—and skipped parties because I had a babysitting job lined up. Not even one I found myself, my mom scheduled them for me. I’m pretty sure that she did it so that I would skip some of the parties that happened at the old Aldridge mansion.

Anyway, due to my awkwardness, the Regina Georges of the town had a field day with me. It’s to no one’s surprise that the moment I received my high school diploma, I drove away and swore I’d never go back.

It was goodbye, Baker’s Creek and hello, Denver.

Turns out, that I could only be away for so long. Not only am I back, but I’m working on the point of the town where everything is happening.

What’s happening in Baker’s Creek, you ask?

The Aldridge family is back in town.

I know, I lost you. So a little background. Legend says that the Aldridge family came to the west side of the country during the gold rush. Once they became filthy rich, they established themselves in Oregon, on the east side of Mount Hood. They own a ski lodge called The Lodge, a factory called Aldry’s Sweet, and pretty much all the land.

Now that the patriarch William Aldridge is dead, his sons have moved to Baker’s Creek. No one knows why they’re there. As small towns go, there are several rumors like “they’re here to sell the town,” or “they want to increase the rent and kick everyone out of Baker’s Creek.” My favorite? “They came to eat the young.” I don’t know who is saying that one, but you have to admit that it’s hilarious.

I know why they are here. I can’t tell you.

I’m now aiding them with their children— aiding, not babysitting. If you can keep a secret, I’ll say that their father left them everything under several conditions. One of them is that they can’t hire anyone to help them at home. In order to be their kids’ friendly babysitter, I had to sign an NDA. See why I can’t mumble a word about their lives?

So, my lips are sealed. I can’t say much about them, not even to Mom. I might not be able to say anything about the brothers, but I can tell the Aldridge family everything I know about the town. I'm Aldridge's source of information when it comes to the town. What I don’t know, I’ll research. With my help, they might be able to uncover a thing or two about their past, their father, and the reason why they are here.

I might be broke, single, and desperate, but I’m ready to become one of the Hardy Boys, or maybe Nancy Drew– whatever I need to do to crack the case.

We’re going to be digging around the town’s history to find some truths behind the Aldridge family.



Mills’s Prologue



I’ve been skating all my life. Hockey is my passion.

I also like to collect useless statistics. They make me feel better.

People swear I’m a jock, but in fact, I’m pretty nerdy. I like to learn more than just the plays for the next game. I don’t tell many people because I’m a hockey player. My fans want to know if I have hard thighs, if I get laid often, how big my dick is. You don’t believe me, do you? I swear, those are the kind of questions that fans post on my social media timelines or send through direct messages. They don’t care that I’m more preoccupied with statistics.

Did you know that the average family size in the world is four-point-nine people?

Or that the average number of children per family is two-point-three kids?

Did you know that the average person falls in love for the first time between the age of twelve and eighteen?

When I was young, collecting these statistics gave me more ammunition to hate my father. Thanks to him, I’m one of seven brothers—not all from the same mother. My friends while growing up all had one or two siblings max.

I was the tallest in my class.

In theory, our family size is fourteen if we count our mothers. That’s ten more than the world’s average. However, my philanderous father didn’t tell his wife or mistresses about each other until the paparazzi caught him with one of his bastard children.

Who already has a half dozen women and yet still decides to date a famous pop star? Dear ol’ Daddy who was arrogant as fuck. He was bound to get caught in the middle of some celebrity drama. None of our mothers were surprised when he finally did.

Our father divorced his wife. Our mothers got full custody of us and we only got to see dear ol’ Dad once a year—along with our brothers. We were never a family, but we pretended to be close during that week. Our father never cared much about us, but when he died, he left a will that fucked up our lives. I don’t have daddy issues, but I think he died trying to give them to me.

I’m always looking for mediocrity because I’m tired of the weird shit that’s been happening to me since I was born. Maybe that’s why, at the age of thirty-four, I’ve still never fallen in love.

The only person I love unconditionally, other than my mom, is my son, Arden. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I don’t know the statistics about single fathers, nor do I plan on looking them up. I’m just trying to be the best dad I can be. Not that I can do a great job right now while I’m stuck in Baker’s Creek living with my five brothers, three sisters-in-law, a baby, and several animals.

Arden and I went from being a family of two to a family of almost ten. My brothers are a handful. Censuring their language is fucking hard. The swear jar doesn’t work—most days they throw in a hundred-dollar bill and say: “for whatever shit I say during the fucking week.”

My kid learned to say “what the fuck” before he turned two. Well, it's more like ‘de fug,’ but that’s what I’m dealing with lately. The only perks of not living in Vancouver are that my son’s mother isn’t nagging me about seeing our son or asking for money because she’s broke.

Before you judge me, she relinquished her parental rights when I refused to marry her. It was a one-night stand. I stepped up and took charge of my baby, who I love with all my heart.

I hate drama, and yet, it follows me everywhere. I’m pretty sure there’s some statistic about the average person having only enough drama to keep them preoccupied. If my life were a TV show, it’d play on TNT.

You don’t believe me? Let’s recap.

I live with an arrogant CEO, Henry.

A bloodsucking lawyer, who happens to be made out of shit and other stinking garbage, Pierce.

A heartthrob musician who, up until he almost died, was an undercover agent for a high intelligence security company, Beacon.

A former Ranger, Delta force, or who-the-fuck-knows-what-he-was-because-he-won’t-tell-us. That’ll be my brother Vance, who, in addition to bringing us his drama, brought his mercenary friends close enough that they almost killed the entire family.

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