Billionaire's Blackmail Bride: Billionaire Brothers Kent - Ridge's Story (The BAD BOY BILLIONAIRES Series)

Billionaire's Blackmail Bride: Billionaire Brothers Kent - Ridge's Story (The BAD BOY BILLIONAIRES Series) by Judy Angelo

Book: Billionaire's Blackmail Bride: Billionaire Brothers Kent - Ridge's Story (The BAD BOY BILLIONAIRES Series) by Judy Angelo Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judy Angelo
this Brazil trip with her Ridge
had no idea what he would be getting himself into.
    After she’d slapped him awake at the ungodly hour of four in the
morning she'd loaded him up with a backpack that was bulky and heavy, even for
him. It was like the woman had stocked him up with all the canned goods that
could fit in the darned thing. And everyone knew how heavy canned goods could
be.
    Then they’d met her guide downstairs, a small, round-faced fellow
who looked old enough to be Lani’s grandfather. Where in the world she’d found
him, Ridge had no idea. He just hoped the man didn’t croak on them during the
trip.
    And then, as if that weren’t bad enough, the vehicle he showed up
with was cause for serious concern. It was an ancient looking Jeep, the sides
eaten by rust and the tires so smooth they looked like you could go ice-skating
with them. What kind of grip could tires like that have on the road? Ridge was
of a mind to call a halt to the whole expedition but Lani was so bent on going
that he didn’t have the heart to burst her bubble.
    The day still shrouded in darkness, they left the city and drove
mile after mile until they were deep into the rural regions of Amazonas state.
Because they stopped in Manacupuru for more supplies they didn’t get to Igarape
until late morning and by that time Ridge was starving. Lani and her guide, on
the other hand, looked like they were surviving on fresh air. While he sat in
the backseat, his stomach growling, they were in the front, busy chatting away.
Finally, when it looked like they had no intention of pulling over for either a
food or bathroom break, Ridge decided he had to speak up.
    “Guys, what say we pull over the next chance we get? We must be low
on gas by now.”
    Lani was the first to chirp up. “Oh, no. I’m good. And we’ve got
lots of gas. Maybe half a tank.”
    It took Aurelio to come to the rescue. The elderly man glanced in
the rearview mirror and must have seen the discomfort on Ridge’s face because
he nodded and gave him an understanding smile. “We will stop in fifteen
minutes,” he said, ignoring Lani and her bid to keep going. “ An eating spot is
just up ahead.”
    “Thank you.” Ridge gave him a nod of gratitude. He seemed to have
found some sympathy in Aurelio. Thank God for that.
    An hour later, after a hearty meal of Feijado black  bean stew and
deep fried Pasteis filled with cod fish,  the party set off again, this time
with Ridge sitting up front beside Aurelio. It had taken the big meal for Lani
to realize how tuckered out she was. When they got back to the Jeep she
immediately claimed the backseat where she sprawled out. Within minutes she was
fast asleep.
    It was a good thing, too, because Ridge didn’t know if her heart
would have been able to take the rest of the journey. Although much of the
terrain had  been flat, this time Aurelio took them up a hill and along a
winding dirt road so narrow that if they’d met another vehicle coming in the
opposite direction he didn’t know what they would have done. It didn't help
that on one side of the road was the mountain wall and on the other  was a
steep precipice.  As tough as he was – or used to think he was – his heart
jumped into his throat and he gripped the seat so hard he thought his fingers
would pop through the leather. He couldn’t believe he’d lived thirty-four years
on earth to come to this hellish place to meet his end.
    It was an exhausted, drained and sweat-drenched Ridge who dragged
himself out of the Jeep hours later. They’d come to a remote settlement, too
tiny to even be called a village, and by this time it was pitch-black night.
The few shacks that circled the clearing were in darkness and there was not a
soul to be seen.
    Lani, who’d woken up a couple of hours earlier, was the first to
speak. “Where are we?” she whispered, like she thought her voice would be
enough to wake the community.
    “This is where we will camp tonight,” Aurelio said,

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