All Delron Chastain 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 what he plans to do, no matter what.
Phillipe Lebeau loves Delron, but a padlock is simply a piece of metal, and Delron not seeing that is driving him insane. The lock has nothing to do with them. Their life was great until the night the lock was stolen, and Del’s crazy behaviour makes Phillipe question if he’s ever really known him.
Delron’s search leads him through an art-filled Paris. Will recovering the symbol of their love be enough to soothe the mistrust his quest has planted in Phillipe? Phillipe believed he’d spend the rest of his life with Del. But who can live with anyone willing to break the law simply to find an old rusty padlock?
“Hey, listen to this.” Phillipe took a sip of his creamy coffee before reading out the article in Le Monde.
“In response to speculation about the Paris mayor’s involvement in the disappearance of the locks on Pont des Arts, Town Hall yesterday firmly denied having any connection to the incident.”
“They have to say that.” A light flush spread over Delron’s fair skin, and his eyes glistened with anger. Phillipe didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. Delron was way too worked up -- it was just a freaking lock, a tacky symbol that had nothing to do with them. He shook his head.
“Here, they’ve asked a woman what she thinks has happened.”
“And what does she think?” Delron’s tight voice made Phillipe glance in his direction again before he continued reading. His strawberry-blond hair was standing on end. He was clenching his jaw and fisting his hands as he waited for Phillipe to continue.
Phillipe skimmed the paragraph. “She says she thinks the mayor hired someone to remove the locks during the night. That it can’t be a coincidence that Town Hall said last week they wanted the locks removed, and now they’ve miraculously disappeared.”
Relief shone in Delron’s eyes. Phillipe double-checked the text to see what might have brought on the change in his demeanour, but he couldn’t find it.
“So they’re out there somewhere? Someone has them?”
“Erm ... Del? It’s one woman, a random person, who thinks that. No one knows.”
“No, I know that, but what if she’s right? What if we could find the person who has our lock? Then everything would be fine again.”
Phillipe creased his brow. What the hell was Delron talking about? “It’s just a lock, a piece of metal --”
“It’s the symbol of our love, without it --”
“It means nothing!” Phillipe hadn’t meant to raise his voice. He didn’t want to argue, but it was just a fucking lock.
Delron stared at him. For a moment Phillipe saw hurt in his eyes, but then a perfectly neutral expression chased away every indication of feeling.
“You need to hurry if you don’t want to be late.”
Phillipe glanced at the clock -- the ugly cat-shaped clock that defiled the entire room merely by being there. He hated it -- he hated the colour, hated the form, and he definitely hated the ugly pink bow around the deformed head. It had been a sunny day about four years ago when Delron had come home with it. He’d presented it as if it were a treasure, and Phillipe didn’t have the heart to tell him he wanted to drop it from the balcony and watch the cars below run over it. It was an urge he fought every day -- to throw the darn thing off the balcony and see it shatter into tiny pieces.
The hideous brown cat swung its tail back and forth in sync with each click of a second. The body formed the round shape of the clock, and two creepy yellow eyes followed you wherever you went in the kitchen. He guessed he should be happy it wasn’t one of those models where the eyes moved as well, they were eerie enough as they were, distracting him every time he wanted to see what time it was.
“Shit.” He gulped down his coffee, left the newspaper on the table, and hurried out the door. He was halfway down the stairs before he realised he hadn’t said a proper goodbye to Delron. Argh, I don’t have the time to run back up now.