The Midnight Hour

By: Brenda Jackson


This book is dedicated to all the faithful readers of my Madaris and Friends Series who waited patiently for Sir Drake's story. I appreciate all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To my hero, husband and best friend, Gerald Jackson, Sr.

To my good friends, Pat and Cleve Warren. Sir Drake's story is especially for you.

To my editor, Monique Patterson. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue the Madaris and Friends Series.

And to my Heavenly Father who makes all things possible.


It was when a lone figure emerged out of the shadows and materialized into the halls of the Bethesda Naval Hospital. All was quiet and the few staff members on duty didn't pay any attention to the individual who was clutching a patient's medical chart, giving the appearance of a doctor making rounds, checking on patients.

The lone figure turned down a semi-darkened hall. Holding the medical chart firmly in hand and inhaling deep, determined breaths, the individual dressed in a doctor's white coat quickly continued toward their destination.

Marine Colonel Ashton Sinclair drew in a ragged breath as he stood by the side of the hospital bed and gazed down at his friend, Drake Warren, a man barely recognizable amidst all the tubes connected to his body. Lying there lifeless, Drake looked a lot older than his thirty-five years. He looked like a man who'd had a rough life and was making a smooth entry into the arms of death.

According to the doctor Ashton had spoken with when he'd first arrived that day, all five bullets had been removed, but due to extensive blood loss, there was a slim chance that

Drake would survive another night. The doctor was surprised he was still holding on for this long.

Ashton was also surprised.

It was well known among those who really knew Sir Drake, as he was fondly called, that for the past five years he'd been walking a fine line between life and death, usually tottering on the edge of the latter. Although he had existed, Sir Drake's life had basically ended in Haiti five years ago when the woman he loved, Marine Captain Sandy Carroll, had gotten killed. Since then Drake had been a walking time bomb, taking unnecessary risks; a man who constantly played Russian roulette with his life. A man who had a death wish.

Ashton, Sir Drake, and another one of their close friends by the name of Trevor Grant, had been marine captains and part of the marines' elite Special Forces, the Force Recon Unit. Trained to survive in difficult situations, each had a specialty. Trevor was the man to have at your back when it came to surviving in the jungles or any other unusual or dangerous environment; Sir Drake was a whiz at weapons and explosives and Ashton was a pathfinder, a tracker. He had the ability to locate anyone or anything in thick woods, jungles, forest, and any type of uncivilized or impenetrable territory-including the deserts of Iraq. Ashton's skill was the reason Sir Drake was back in the United States. He had located him, left for dead, on the southern edge of Tikrit and had taken care of the critically wounded former marine who was now an undercover agent for the CIA.

Ashton's thoughts then shifted back to Sandy Carroll, the only woman he had known Drake to love. Sandy, known for her skills in martial arts and marksmanship, had been the only female marine who had come close to becoming a Recon. Ashton, Trevor, Sir Drake, and Sandy had often teamed up for various coveted missions and had become known among fellow Recons as the "Fearless Four."

The last time the four of them had been on a mission together was that time in Haiti. American dignitaries had gotten kidnapped and held for ransom by a drug cartel. No one had known the entire thing had been a setup, orchestrated by a drug lord and psychopath by the name of Solomon Cross. Cross's and Drake's paths had crossed two years earlier when the marines special force unit headed by Drake was sent to destroy Cross's laboratory compound. During the course of the fighting, Cross's wife Maria was killed. Solomon Cross blamed Drake for Maria's death and vowed to uphold his principle of "an eye for an eye" and destroy any woman whom Drake ever loved.

Cross kept good on his vow when he found out about Drake's love for Sandy and had made sure that she was killed on that mission in Haiti. Drake had never gotten over what had happened to Sandy and vowed to one day get the man who had been responsible. But now it seemed that Drake had given up the will to live, to fight, to survive. His love for Sandy had been strong, invincible and a part of Drake had died with her that day. The only thing that had kept him going was his need for revenge.

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