Home > Collide with Me (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #7)

Collide with Me (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #7)
Author: Claudia Burgoa

 

Hutch’s Prologue

 

 

Family is the most universal group known in the world and throughout history.

Mine is somehow unconventional.

Who am I kidding? It’s unorthodox as fuck. Ever since I can remember, it’s brought some kind of polemic around our social circle.

My siblings and I grew up with a father and our grandparents for our formative years. Sadly, Grandma and Grandpa died when we were still young. After that, it’s just been the seven of us.

The few times we asked about having a mother or a second father, Dad said he was too busy to fall in love. He had us because he always wanted a family.

We’re not adopted, though. We grew up believing that we’re the combination of an anonymous woman’s eggs, Dad’s sperm, and a surrogate mother who carried us to term—not all at the same time.

And so, my father became the parent of a set of twins—Maxwell and me. Then came Brielle. We call her Brie. A couple of years later, Maverick joined us. Last but not least, the other set of twins appeared—Brice and Avery.

Dad tried his best to be a good father. We didn’t miss having a mother. Not even during those times when our classmates would ask about her.

I’m not saying our family was perfect. There were a lot of ups and downs. I came with my own set of complications and became the black sheep of the family. Which sometimes creates a problem since we’re part of New York’s Elite.

Have I been on Page Six for my indiscretions?

A few times when I was younger. I think all of us have been there at some point. After all, we’re the Sanders of New York.

I never understood why part of my middle name was Aldridge until recently, when we discovered that everything we knew about our origins was a lie.

My biological father isn’t Herbert Sanders, but William T. Aldridge—Dad’s high school sweetheart. Dad had time for love, but his heart was too broken to try to fall again. I’m actually one of thirteen children.

Getting to know the other Aldridge brothers has been… okay, I’m lying. I've been avoiding them for more than a year, unlike Max and Brie, who are trying to fit in with those guys and be part of their family.

Listen, I don’t care if their father donated his junk so I could become a person. I don’t need them. At least, I don’t think I do until Dad begins to pressure me. According to him, it’s time to grow up and do something with my life. Changing jobs and partying is frowned upon when you’re thirty-three.

Fortunately, a friend of the family needs a favor. Like the good Samaritan my father raised me to be, I volunteer myself as a tribute. Though, I wasn’t counting on Amber Livingstone. She might be beautiful, but her uptight personality needs some adjustment. I might help her loosen up a little while we’re at it.

How hard can it be to drive someone around the country? I’ve raced cars. This should be a piece of cake, right?

 

 

Amber’s Prologue

 

 

I’m the product of two different worlds.

To give you an idea, my parents' names are Clover Rain Hardy and Whitaker Thomas Livingstone III—never call him Trey.

According to my mother, I’m the result of a cheap bottle of wine, two irresponsible adults, and several bad decisions. No one was surprised when the marriage came to an end.

Dad likes to keep up appearances, and so he fought for joint custody of me. Half the time, I was under a microscope, expected to behave under ‘high society’ standards. The other half, Mom raised me like a flower child of the sixties. I don’t have a split personality, but it messed with my head.

In the end, I became more of my father’s daughter than my mom’s.

I’m a corporate lawyer, just like him, and I work as many hours of the day as he does.

Well, that’s what I did until Mom became sick. She didn’t take the diagnosis seriously or even mention it to me. It wasn’t until the doctor gave her just a few months to live that she told me about it. I might be like my father but losing Mom will kill me. I don’t think I’ll be able to recover from the grief.

But Mom has a plan, one that includes a chicken, a road trip, and maybe the help of the most unreliable person in the world. Hutch Sanders.

I don’t know where this will end, but one of us may not make it to Baker’s Creek in one piece—and I’m not talking about Hennifer Aniston.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Hutch


Despite my best efforts to avoid my father, it’s impossible.

I adore the man. He’s my entire life, which makes it hard to be around him. He expects so much from me and I just can’t deliver. He’s never said it, but the man wants me to be like him. A successful business guy who has changed the world.

And how can I when it took me almost ten years to get through college? Max is the one who got the brains. I got… I have no fucking idea. Well, I’m fun to be around, and women like me a lot. They’d rather spend the night with me than with my brother. That has to count, right?

I doubt my father would be happy if I told him that, though.

“Dad,” I greet him when he enters my penthouse. “This is a surprise.”

It is. I’ve been tracking all his movements to ensure he doesn’t find me. How the fuck did he do it?

He grins. “Is it? Because I’ve been leaving you numerous messages, and you've yet to respond to any of them.”

I rub the back of my neck, trying to come up with an excuse but it’s impossible. Herbert Sanders knows his children too well. Lying to him is undermining his intelligence. Throw in that he’s now a therapist, and well, things can get a little tricky when trying to wiggle my way around him. One of these days, he’s going to toss out the stereotypical and how does that make you feel?

“What can I do for you, Dad?”

“I was talking to your brothers—”

“Maxwell and who else?” I interrupt him.

I know he’s talking about the Aldridges from Baker’s Creek, but I don’t want to hear it. I know I’m being difficult about it, but I don’t want to get to know the sons of his former lover. He might want to pretend we’re a happy family, but we’re not. Fifty percent of our DNA is similar. That’s the only way we’re related. Do I need to look for the egg donor’s children too?

I’ve yet to understand why Dad is almost obsessed with them. Aren’t we enough?

“Not him. Henry and Hayes,” he clarifies.

“Oh, your oldest children.” Okay, I shouldn’t have said that so abrasively, but before the Aldridges came to the scene, it was Max and me. Well, Max, because I doubt I’ll ever grow up.

“Hutch, don’t be like that.”

“Sometimes, I wonder what would’ve happened if he hadn’t left you. Would you have let us rot in the freezer while you lived happily with those children?”

I know there wasn’t an expiration date for us. Still, we’d probably be in the cryogenic company waiting for our turn to exist.

He sighs, giving me a look that almost says where did I go wrong with this kid? “I see that I won’t be able to get through to you today. They want to see if maybe you can help them in Baker’s Creek.”

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