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A Braid of Love

by Alexandra Y. Caluen

Janis and Niall were best friends almost from their first day working together on tour. Over the years, that friendship grew stronger. Her troubled long-distance relationship and his slow recovery from losing the love of his life gave them more points of connection, not fewer. And almost three years in, they had to face it: they were in love.

There was only one problem. Janis was straight, and Niall wasn’t.

They didn’t know what to do. As a woman and a man, certain combinations were, technically, possible. But there are some things you don’t ask even your best friend to do. If a day arrived when one of them found a person to meet that unmet need, what would happen to them?

And then they met Geoffrey. A man who enjoyed women and men. A man they both found attractive and charming; a man attracted in turn to each of them; a man whose particular circumstances made the experiment possible.

Now the question was, would their unique combination be the catalyst for a new, indissoluble element … or would it blow up in all their faces?

Publisher: Independently Published
Pairings: M-M-F
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Polyamorous, Straight
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 3 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Famous / Not Famous, InstaLove / Love at First Sight, Interracial Relationship, Love Triangle, Menage
Word Count: 92200
Setting: London and Los Angeles
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

On that particular rainy afternoon, he was sitting at his usual table in the corner of the otherwise-empty restaurant, frowning at his laptop, picking away at a scene that was causing him considerable irritation. Then the door opened and two people came in, and Geoffrey forgot where he was for a moment.

He recognized both of them, though they’d never met. One was Janis Vaughn, a favorite recording artist, an American jazz singer and pianist. He’d known she was in England; he’d gone to her concert at Cambridge. She was – as she almost always seemed to be – with her tour manager Niall Phelps. Geoffrey had that internet-age feeling that he knew them, because he followed Janis’ social media. She and Niall had been working together on tours for nearly four years.


Janis’ life wasn’t precisely an open book, but she posted with sufficient frequency and transparency that Geoffrey knew she was straight and single, having recently ended a long-term relationship back in California. Niall on the other hand was gay and single, having lost his fiancé – the actor Oliver Dunn – to a massive aneurysm in 2013. He’d spoken about it publicly for the first time only that spring. He and Janis were both even more attractive in person than they were on the internet. Geoffrey had always thought she was lovely, and Niall was most definitely his type.

All the same, he was unprepared for the physical sensation he felt, being in the same room with the two of them. It was something close to the delicious shock of being out for a winter hike and having a tree dump snow down one’s collar. He shivered, realized he was staring, blinked, and realized that Niall was staring back at him. Oh my heavens. Of all the curry shops in all the world, you walked into mine. There was no mistaking Niall’s expression. Geoffrey blinked again and dropped his gaze, reminding himself to breathe.

You beauty, Niall was thinking, gazing at the handsome young Indian man in the corner. His mind was otherwise blank for a moment until Janis nudged him, told him not to stare, and said something about Iceland. Niall caught up, managed to reply somewhat normally, and utterly failed at not flirting with the young man for the entire time they were in the restaurant. How could he not, when the expression in those startled eyes had been so clear.


About the Author

A long time ago and three thousand miles away, I wrote my first novel - a historical romance - during graduate school. Twenty years later I finally dusted it off and published it. Since then I have written and published many more novels and novellas; all romance, most contemporary. My characters (of various genders and ethnicities) range in age from eighteen to sixty-five, with the average falling in the mid-thirties. I'm inspired by authors like KJ Charles, Laurie R. King, Dick Francis, and Jennifer Crusie. I've lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1995.

Statement regarding AI: all works published under the names Alexandra Caluen and A.Y. Caluen were written entirely by the human being legally named Alexandra Y. Caluen, utilizing no AI tools. This author does not grant permission for any use of the works in machine learning or generative AI.

All cover art for the works published as A.Y. Caluen was created by the human being named RK Young. The author image used on A.Y. Caluen paperbacks was created by RK Young with AI tools.