Romance was dead.
It was tough to feel romantic when the world burned about you, but Rourke felt sure he could still conjure up something more than just flames of lust.
His hand reached out and his fingertips brushed Lena’s wrist. She snatched it away, sighing as she gripped her hand and held it to her heart. “Just don’t,” she said with a sideways glance at Rourke.
He shook his head and lifted his hands in surrender. “Wasn’t doing anything,” he countered.
“Don’t lie.” Her eyes twinkled, but the anxiety behind them remained.
He thrust his hands beneath his thighs; sitting on them seemed the best option. He watched her as she gazed about the vast room. Rubble lined the walls, or what was left of them, and smouldering fires sent spirals of smoke up into the open, dark skies. Bombs continued falling miles away, and aircraft hummed in the distance. Lena’s soot-blackened face turned to his, and she spoke with reverence and loss, “There’s nowhere sacred left anymore.”
They jumped as the chapel wall tumbled a few feet away, and a cloud of dust and debris billowed swooshing out the candles that sat at the altar.
“At least there wasn’t a roof, or we’d be crushed…” he offered, staring up at the long-gone ceiling, gazing into the stars that peeped through the smoke-filled sky.
“I didn’t think they’d continue through the night. I thought there was enough destruction in daylight. I thought we’d be safe.” Lena wrung her hands and Rourke moved to touch her face.
This time she let him and his fingers caressed her cheek. He moved closer and the pew creaked with their weight. She turned to face him and Rourke swallowed. Firelight bathed her in flickering shades of amber and crimson, and his heart wasn’t the only part of him that reacted.
“See!” Her throaty laughter lit up his soul and he smiled as demons danced in her eyes. “I told you,” she said, “romance is gone. It’s just survival now.” Her gaze moved across his face and lingered like her hand did as it moved down his chest. His shirt, unbuttoned as he’d dived for cover, was now no match for her fingers as they strayed with insistence that betrayed much more than romance.
Lena gazed down at the floor. Torn white lace mixed with ash and debris, and red petals lay strewn across the scorched scarlet aisle. They’d tried. Old fashioned romance he’d called it, but Lena knew better. She moved her face to kiss his fingers, and her insistent hand pushed against his chest. Marriage called for more than just ceremony – even in times of war and destruction. Rourke didn’t resist.
Romance was dead, and the last cinders of her wedding bouquet confirmed it.
Write up to 750 words inspired by the prompt photograph.