It took several tries before he hooked the tip of the spotlight’s casing. And when he did, when he finally lifted the spotlight into the air, one of the wires hissing beneath it rested against the fallen man’s forearm, sending him into convulsions.

Celina’s hands flew to her mouth. She watched the man’s head arch back into an impossible position. Reacting instinctively, she rushed forward and knelt beside him-just as Mark Rand began swinging the spotlight over her.

With a start, he pulled back hard on the controls, lifting the spotlight away from Celina with a jerk, causing it to jump and waver on its hook. For one terrible moment, he felt sure it was going to jump the hook and fall on top of her. The spotlight was teetering in the air, no more than ten feet above her, spewing black smoke as it swayed on its metal line. The wires snapping beneath it were almost touching her back. But gradually, he brought the spotlight under control and moved it away from her. When it was far enough away from the generator, the spotlight unplugged itself, the light flashed and it went dark.

A member of the lighting crew went to Celina’s side. Together, they pulled the young man to safety. Celina knelt over him. The man’s body was sheathed in perspiration. His skin was the color of chalk. She gripped him by the shoulders and gently shook him. She noticed his name sewn into the pocket of his denim work shirt and shouted it once, twice, but there was no response.

Her mind raced. She had been trained in CPR, but that was in college and now she struggled to remember how to perform it. She tilted his head back to clear the airway and then ripped off his shirt, exposing his chest. She looked to see if it was rising and falling, but it wasn’t. She listened to see if he was breathing, but he wasn’t. She placed the back of her hand to his mouth, but felt nothing. She checked for a pulse in his neck, but found none. She pressed her ear to his chest. Nothing.

For a moment, she thought her own heart had stopped.

He was dead.

Immediately, she covered his mouth with her own, pinched his nose and forced two sharp breaths into his lungs. She checked once more for a pulse, found none and gave several compressions to his chest, wishing she could remember exactly how many she was supposed to administer. She stopped after the twelfth and repeated the procedure. And then she did it again.

But the man didn’t respond.

Fighting to remain calm, Celina looked up for help just as the New York City Fire Department stormed the roof, hoses and axes in hand. She turned to her right and saw Mark leaving the crane. The final spotlight was removed and he was coming toward her. “What’s the matter with you?” he shouted. “You could have been killed-” The words died in his mouth when he saw the man lying beside her.

“Get help,” she said. “Move!”

She bent back over the man, again pressing on his chest, again forcing air into his lungs.

But there was no response.

Panic rising, her shoulder-length blonde hair hanging in her face, she repeated the procedure, knowing that time for this man was running out.

But her efforts seemed in vain. No matter how hard she tried to revive him, the man just lay there, motionless.

And so she went for it.

Raising her fists above her head, she slammed them down onto the man’s chest, causing him to jerk slightly upright. He expelled a rush of air. “Breathe!” she shouted.

To her surprise, he did. His eyes fluttered. Color rushed to his cheeks and he gagged and coughed and vomited. Celina felt a surge of elation and turned him onto his side so he wouldn’t choke. Tears began streaming down his face as he pulled in great gasps of air. Celina held him on his side. “It’s all right,” she said. “Just breathe. You’re safe now. It’s all right.”

When the paramedic reached them, she knelt beside Celina, cleaned the vomit from the man’s face and covered his nose and mouth with an oxygen mask. Another woman appeared and covered him with a blanket. Celina stood and watched with Mark as relief washed over the man. He drew deeply on the clean air.

For him, the nightmare was over.

“Where did you learn that?” Mark asked.

Celina’s face was pale. “My roommate in college had a sister who was a nursing student. She used to teach us things I never thought I use. One of them was how to perform CPR.”

“Not so worthless,” he said.

Together, they looked at the spotlights Mark had removed. Although they were no longer burning, the air around them was dim with smoke.

“Why did they explode?” she asked.

Before Mark could respond, a fireman approached and answered her question instead. “I’ll show you.”

She exchanged looks with Mark and stepped over to one of the smoldering lights. There, they watched the man pull two frayed, blackened wires from the now empty light socket. “Do you see these wires?”

They nodded.

“They shouldn’t be there.” He bent to his knees and asked Celina and Mark to do the same. On the back of the spotlight, he pointed to a small hole where the metal was contorted and twisted out of shape. “This hole shouldn’t be there, either.”

Celina braced herself for what was coming and the uproar it would cause.

“Off the record?” he said.


“It’s not confirmed, but it’s obvious. The spotlights were rigged with plastic explosives. When the power was turned on, the electricity came into these two wires and set off the bombs.”

“Who would plant three bombs here?” she said.

“That’s for you and the police to figure out.”


George Redman left the limousine, moved to the front of The Redman International Building and was engulfed by reporters.

He pushed through the crowd and tried to ignore the cameras and microphones being thrust in his face. His world was the twin glass doors ahead of him. He would say nothing until he spoke to Celina-but that didn’t stop the reporters or their cacophony of voices.

“Can you give us a statement?”

“Do you think this has to do with your plans to take over WestTex? The recent decline in Redman International’s stock?”

“Who’s responsible for this, Mr. Redman?”

George glanced at the reporter who asked that question and then pressed forward, thinking it was the best question yet. Who was responsible for this?

Celina was waiting for him beyond the doors and, as George embraced her, he thought she never looked or felt better to him.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“I’m fine.” Knowing her father as well as she did, Celina said, “Really. I’m fine.”

“What happened?” he asked.

Celina explained everything to him. When she told him about the man who was trapped behind the spotlight, she raised her hands in apology. “I tried to keep what happened to him from the press, but it was impossible. The reporters got wind of it before I could do anything.”

“Don’t worry about it,” George said. “This wasn’t our fault. If anything, they’ll be congratulating you for saving that man’s life. Was anyone else hurt?”

She told him about the men who had been burned.

“So, we’re facing lawsuits.”

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