Okay, I have to write about He Melted Us today. It’s Thursday, and I said I’d do one Throwback Thursday post a month during 2019, and it’s three years ago today that it was published.
You might think that since it’s Valentine, I should write a post about some cute romance – He Melted Us is not cute, but I don’t know if I have any cute romances. You might be better judges than I when it comes to that, but I don’t see my stories as overly romantic.
He Melted Us is part of the Love Unlocked anthology from Beaten Track Publishing, and I remember when Debbie McGowan posted the call. I was at my Mum’s, sitting in her conservatory talking to my sister. I was done with a draft of another story and had switched manuscripts with one of my beta readers who also had one she wanted feedback on.
That story is still sitting here on my laptop with her beta notes attached. I abandoned it for He Melted Us and I never went back. I will, though! Any day now LOL (I’ve said that for two and a half years).
Anyway, on the 1st of June 2015, the padlocks on Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archeveche in Paris were removed. For years people had left locks as a symbol of their love on the bridges, and there were so many they feared the bridges would be destroyed.
The call for the anthology was that each story should be about one of the padlocks. Every lock on those bridges held a story, and we were to write a story that might have been.
So I sat there in the conservatory with my sister, and we tossed ideas around, one crazier than the other. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes, and then when I went home, I wrote the story.
It’s not sane, Delron is not reasonable, and neither Delron nor Phillipe master the skill of communication. But, in my defence, I’ve seldom laughed as much writing a story as I did this, and it might not come across in the actual text, but I’m selfish enough to say that I don’t care.
Phillipe paced the reception area in the police station. He couldn’t believe Delron had been picked up by the police. He never did anything illegal, never even drove too fast. It has to be a mistake, it just has to be. His Del didn’t do things that had him ending up in the police station.
“You can sit down, Mr. Lebeau. They will be out with him soon.”
Phillipe wanted to glare at the woman behind the glass as she smiled at him, but she hadn’t been anything but nice to him since he’d arrived, so he had no reason to.
He sank down on one of the sofas that had been in fashion about fifteen years ago and ran his hands over his stubble-short hair. What on Earth has Delron got himself into? He hoped it wasn’t drugs. It couldn’t be drugs, could it? Delron worked at the hospital, he’d been a nurse for years. If he was an addict, Phillipe would’ve noticed, wouldn’t he? But maybe he was selling? Maybe he stole drugs from the hospital and sold them on the black market or something. Does anyone ever really know their partner? Del had been acting a bit strange lately. What if that’s what he was doing yesterday, when he came home in the middle of the night? Phillipe was more and more certain it had been the front door and not the balcony door he’d heard.
At the sound of approaching footsteps, Phillipe got to his feet. Delron stood there, looking a bit sheepish as a police officer gave him a stern look. “I hope not to see you here again.”
The man’s voice sent a shiver down Phillipe’s spine, not because he sounded mean in any way, but there was authority in that voice.
“Bye.” Delron started towards the door without even looking at Phillipe.
“Del! What the fuck?”
Delron held the door open and waited for Phillipe to pass through it.
“Is it drugs?” He had to know. The more he thought about it, the more possible it seemed.
“Drugs? Are you out of your mind? I broke into Hôtel de Ville.”
“You did what?” Phillipe wasn’t proud of the way his voice screeched, but he’d never thought Delron a burglar. It had never even crossed his mind that he might be.
“I was only looking for the mayor. Apparently, he’s been getting some hate mail lately, and they thought it was me, since I…sort of broke in to find him.” Phillipe prepared to yell at him, but before he could, Delron continued. “It’s no big deal. I convinced the police I wasn’t the one sending the mail, and that I didn’t mean the mayor any harm. So they let me go.” Delron shrugged and started walking towards their car, which Phillipe had carelessly parked in the disabled parking zone.
No big deal? Phillipe’s hands were shaking. How can this not be a big deal?
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?
A story from Love Unlocked – a collection of seven short stories and novellas – unique LGBTQ romances inspired by the Love Lock Bridge.
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