My turn! The sixth story in the Love Unlocked anthology is He Melted Us written by me. I’m not one to put a lot of value into symbols of love, I’m not even wearing my wedding ring—though in my defence my husband isn’t either. When the call for this anthology came I wanted to write a character who was the complete opposite of me. I thought up this crazy person putting far too much power into an object representing his love, and that’s how Delron was born.
All Delron wants is to live his life with Phillipe, but when their love lock is stolen from Pont des Art, their relationship is in jeopardy. Without the lock holding them together, Delron is convinced they’ll crash and burn. The only way he can save their relationship is to find the stolen lock, and that is just what he plans to do, no matter what.
Phillipe loves Delron, he really does, but it’s driving him insane that Delron can’t see that a padlock is simply a piece of metal. The lock has nothing to do with them, not really. Up until the night the lock was stolen, their life was great, but Del’s crazy behaviour has Phillipe wondering if he has ever really known his boyfriend.
Delron’s search leads him through art-filled Paris, but will a symbol of love ever be enough to soothe the mistrust his quest has planted in Phillipe? Phillipe always thought he’d spend the rest of his life with Del, but who can live with anyone willing to break the law just to find a padlock when they can buy a new one in just about any shop?
Delron was alone on Pont des Arts. The light drizzle made it hard to see over to the cupola of Institut de France. Behind him the lamps outside of the Louvre only gave a dull glow. But it didn’t matter—none of it mattered.
The metal railing dug into his palm as tiny water droplets coated the back of his hand. He couldn’t look down, couldn’t force himself to take in the empty grate on the side of the bridge one more time. Below, the Seine’s water ran black and cold. Delron looked at it whirling and rippling. He could almost feel it swallowing him, even as he stood firmly on the wooden deck on the bridge.
It was gone—their lock was gone.
Delron couldn’t breathe. A group of young men staggered over the otherwise deserted bridge. They were too busy talking and joking to notice him. How could anyone joke at a moment like this?
Once they’d passed, he sat down on one of the benches. The wet seat soaked his trousers, but he didn’t care.
He had known, or assumed, but seeing it with his own eyes made the reality hit home. Their relationship was over. A part of him had still hoped. They’d said on the radio that about 2000 locks were missing, a few dozen had been left untouched. He’d hoped theirs would be one of those few. It wasn’t.
He remembered the day they’d stood there two years ago. The weather had been warm, the sun reflecting off the water below them, and Phillipe had been absolutely gorgeous. His short dark hair had come to life in the sunshine, and his warm brown eyes had held so much affection, Delron felt a warmth fill him every time he thought about it.
Delron had always thought Phillipe was handsome—handsome in an ordinary way. He didn’t look like a model; he looked real, and Del wanted a real man. That day he had thought Phillipe was the most beautiful creature on this Earth. They’d been standing there, holding hands—not giving a damn about what people would think. And they’d attached their lock to the bridge. Both of them had held on to the lock as they attached it, their hands touching as Delron pushed down the shackle and Phillipe pulled out the key. Instead of throwing it into the Seine like Del had wanted to, Phillipe had attached it to his other keys.
Delron had never been happier. It was like everything had finally fallen into place. That lock—it meant everything. As long as their lock hung on the bridge, he knew they would be all right. It was the closest they’d ever come to marriage—the lock was their wedding ring, their promise to themselves and the world that they would be together for eternity. And now? He looked around at the sad-looking grate; the occasional lock decorating the ugly metal grid only made it worse.
It was gone. It was over. Delron might just as well go back home, pack his things, and move out of the flat they’d shared for the last five years. No lock, no relationship—he had no say in this. Someone had stolen his happiness.
The Trap by Claire Davis and Al Stewart
Writer’s Lock by Victoria Milne
Locked in the Moment by Dawn Sister
The Weekend by J P Walker
The Scarlet Lock by Caraway Carter
He Melted Us by Ofelia Gränd
Chain of Secrets by Debbie McGowan
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