I love polyamory. Always have, always will. The idea of an entire group of people held together by bonds of affection, passion and friendship captured my heart from the moment I first heard of it, first realized it was an actual thing that actual people sometimes actually did. All that potential, and all that love. I had to write about it.
When it came time to blog about it, I knew I wanted to introduce my characters.
Ty jumped right up on the first day of brainstorming. He’s that kind of guy. Unsquashable, unsinkable, imperturbable. Always cheerful, always with a kind word and a willing offer of help when you need it. He might not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but he’s one of the nicest to look at.
But that’s all on the outside. What lies inside makes for a slightly different story.
An Introduction to Ty Lockner
Ty is and isn’t more than meets the eye. His happy-go-lucky nature isn’t an act. He enjoys his work, loves his home, likes everyone, and wants to help them.
And no one is hardest on himself than Ty when he fails. Like he knows he’s been doing with his great-aunt Lily, who took him in and raised him when his parents couldn’t. She taught him how to love openly and live proudly. But diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she’s become someone he can’t even reach, let alone fix. Ty knows all too well how proud Lily was, and how much she’d hate for anyone to know how bad things have gotten, so he can’t ask for help. He’s struggled along with the weight of the world on his shoulders, never saying a word about it.
Until Noah. Who finds out the truth, and offers no judgment. Until Gabriel, who is broken in a far different way, yet manages to give him new hope. Until Joshua and Ian, who accept him without blond jokes and who need the open affection he can give them.
But when the very worst happens and Ty has to face a world without Lily in it, he doesn’t know if he’s strong enough to keep going. It’s going to take a miracle—or a disaster—for him to find his feet again.
I hope you enjoy reading his story, along with those of the other men of Five-Sided Heart!
Noah Trevelyan has lost his moorings. Disowned over his sexuality as a teenager, he hasn’t been back to his home on the Outer Banks since his fisherman father kicked him out. But when he returns for the Old Man’s funeral, he discovers his father left him the house and boat in his will. Noah must choose whether to stay or go, but he won’t be alone. There’s Ian, working to overcome the emotional scars left by a domineering ex-boyfriend, and Ty, a cheerful housekeeper who’s struggling to take care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken aunt. There’s Joshua too, running from the destruction of his old life, and Gabriel, who was once beaten and left for dead, and doesn’t know how to survive on his own.
Will they find in each other the strength and courage to keep living—and learn, together, how to love again? A polyamorous relationship is the last thing any of them expected to find in the Outer Banks, but it might be what they need most, and it might even be their redemption—if they can keep their group from breaking apart under the pressure.
Was that Joshua coming their way? Yes. Ty waved at the now-familiar man ambling down the sand.Joshua must have seen what they were up to. By the time he’d reached them, he’d already started stripping economically out of his clothes and tossing them on the sand. He touched Gabriel’s shoulder lightly in passing, knocked fists with Ian, and made it to Ty lickety-split. “A racket like that, I figured it could only be you.”
“Hey, I’m not the only loudmouth around here.” Ty sliced the water sideways to send as big a splash as possible at Joshua, who took the soaking with good grace and sent another wave right back at him. “Come on in. The water’s fine.”
“Yeah, so you say.” Joshua ducked his head and came up gasping. “Hellfire, that’s cold.”
“I know. Great, isn’t it?”
Joshua scoffed and made a grab for him. The jeans slowed Ty down too much to zip out of his way, and Joshua caught him easily by the waist and reeled him in. Gravity brought Ty down nearly nose to nose with Joshua. Chest-to-chest too, and all other parts south. Joshua raised an eyebrow and casually rocked one thigh forward against Ty’s hard cock. “Having a good day, or you just really like swimming?”
Ty nearly bit through his lip at the rush of friction and the way Joshua’s pupils dilated when he noticed. “Good day.”
“Now, is that a fact?” Joshua cupped Ty’s groin under cover of the gray Atlantic. “Damn. As cold as the water is, friend, I’m impressed here.”
Ty couldn’t say anything. If he so much as tried, he would moan out loud. He pressed into Joshua’s hand instead, just once, then back. “Really good day. Don’t tease.”
“Who said anything about teasing?” Joshua took pity on Ty and let go. “This is the actual ocean, by the bye? Not just another Sound?”
Relieved, but still hard and aching, Ty knew a distraction when he saw one and grinned his thanks. “Rent yourself a boat and go find out.”
“I might just.” Joshua pointed at the shore. “You think he’d loan me one? I can’t do worse than wreck it.”
Noah stood at the shoreline, his head tipped back, laughing at their antics. Ty popped up to wave at him, hoping Noah meant to join them—and he did. Off with the shirt, off with the shoes, and off with the jeans too, the foresightful bastard.
Chafing had started to become an issue for Ty. He shrugged it off and swam sideways along the beach to meet Noah past the bitty breakers, heartened to see that Noah had forgotten to take his hair down from its messy bun. Tsk-tsk. Ty plucked one of the fasteners out and wedged it behind his own ear like he would a pencil. “Careful you don’t lose your chopsticks there.”
Noah dunked him for that, but when Ty came up, he could see Noah hadn’t really minded. He’d tipped over to float on his back, rising and falling with the current, arms outstretched, eyes half-closed.
Ty dog-paddled to him and trod water. “Not bad work if you can get it, am I right?”
“Damn straight.” Noah worked his other chopstick free and flung it westward. “God, that’s better. I keep forgetting I can do this whenever I want to. Now.” He heaved a mighty sigh. “I spent all day inside trying to sort through the Old Man’s things. Still can’t wrap my head around it, you know?”
Ty did know. Sort of. But it’d help Noah to say it. The thought made him glance back to check on Ian and Gabriel, but it looked like they had each other well in hand. So to speak. They were just wading in the shallows, but they seemed content enough.
“That he’d leave this place to me…. It doesn’t seem real.” Noah righted himself and shook his hair out of the remains of its bun. “I know Ian muscled his way in, but did the Old Man ever say anything to you about…?”
The delicacy of the trailed-off question puzzled Ty at first; then comprehension hit. “Oh, about my liking guys? No, but”—he raised one shoulder—“we didn’t hang with the same crowd. Pretty sure he thought I was still twelve or something.”
Noah looked disappointed by the answer, but not as if he held it against Ty. “You are out, though?”
“I was never really in,” Ty said honestly. “I like everyone. I always have. Mostly people just took it in their stride.”
Noah snorted. “Talk about good work if you can get it.” He trod water easily for someone of his body mass and heavy muscle, his lopsided smile endearingly guileless. “Do you like me?”
The first answer that hopped to Ty’s mind was “of course,” but he knew what Noah really meant. “I do. A hell of a lot.” And he kind of got, now, why Ian hadn’t been on board for a quick one-off back at the house. It wasn’t just him, and it wasn’t just Ty. It was… something bigger, something Ty didn’t even have a name for. Something that had caught them all—Ty, Noah, Joshua, Ian, Gabriel—and kept pulling them back in.