2021 Halloween Flash Fiction featuring Amy Lane

The Altar
Featuring Macklin and Jordan from Pentacles and Pelting Plants
By Amy Lane

Pentacles and Pelting Plants comes out October 19th–it’s the third book of the Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club series, and the fourth and final book will be out in January. This ficlet features Macklin and Jordan from Pentacles and Pelting Plants and it features the mild spoiler in that we know they will be together (and the coven will still be a coven!) at the end of the story.  Lachlan and Bartholomew are from the first book, Shortbread and Shadows.  


Macklin Quintero had never had a lover like Jordan Bryne. Intense, dedicated, altruistic, Jordan brought all those qualities and more to their bedroom, and the result was that frequently, Macklin lost his mind.

And he also lost control of his magic.

So there they were, the night before Hallow’s Eve—or Samhain—and Jordan was… oh Goddess…Jordan was…

“Holy Goddess, Jordan, don’t stop fucking me!”  Macklin screamed, his throat raw with it. He’d come already, bent over their king-sized bed in their newly buil home. But it didn’t matter if he’d come once—or even twice—because Jordan had that intense, dedicated thing going on, and by Goddess his intense cock was dedicated to destroying Macklin’s asshole and Macklin was powerless to stop him.

Except “powerless” was not exactly how he felt.

Every thrust, every slap of flesh, every grunt and touch and tortured groan from the man behind him was making Macklin quiver, his skin shiver, his stomach cold with possibility, with the power—with the magic—that was pouring through them both, generated by their love, by their arousal, by the furious, brilliant sexual halo that Jordan was generating through force of will and pure desire.

For Macklin.

The world before Macklin—the navy trim on the window sills, the pale ivory of the walls, even the white cotton comforter—all began to dissolve in wave after wave of what looked like heat mirage but could not possibly be.

“Macklin!” Jordan cried out, close to his climax, his fingers biting into Macklin’s hips. “Macklin, I’m gonna—”

And as he said it, he hit Macklin’s sweet spot with so much power pain and pleasure bled together, became something different, larger, bigger than Macklin’s mortal body and expanded, washing the two of them in the magnetic wave that was already changing their reality.

Yes!” Macklin howled, his body convulsing, elevated beyond sex, beyond pleasure, beyond power, his only focus the man he loved all-consumingly, the witch whose body was forever entwined with Macklin’s, and whose life Macklin willingly joined to his own.

Their orgasm washed them beyond time, beyond place, beyond walls and boundaries, leaving them both convulsing, panting and mindless in aftermath, scrambling on the leaf mould of an old forest floor.

Mack’s body gave a hard shiver and Jordan slid out of him, their spend washing their thighs and his backside. The magic of it gave another shiver, and then the world solidified, and from behind him, Jordan said, “Uhm… Macklin?”

“Yeah,” Macklin mumbled, face buried against a soft patch of moss. “I saw.”

“Where are we?”

“No idea.”

Jordan rolled off him and stood, revoltingly balanced and not lost in sex at all, which was sort of irritating considering Macklin didn’t know his own damned name.

“It looks like… are we at an altar?”

Macklin’s response was a grumble as he shoved himself, naked and despoiled, to his feet and stared at the structure in front of him.

The altar sat in the center of a New England church yard, covered in autumn leaves. It consisted of a half-circle of stone walls and pillars, the limestone darkened with moss and age, and an iron door in the center, that apparently opened to the other side of the cemetery.

“Is that a… uhm… Goddess altar?” Jordan asked, understandably confused.

“In the center of a cemetery on consecrated ground?” Macklin filled in for him, also surprised. “Yes. Yes it is.”

Jordan shivered, because now that the sex sweat was cooling from their bodies, the cold New England autumn was sucking the body heat from them as quickly as an autumn breeze could cross the churchyard.

“How did we… uhm get here?” Jordan asked, and Macklin forgave him for being able to stand when Macklin’s knees were still wobbly, because Jordan sounded young and a little bewildered. Macklin reached out to grab his hand, turning to look at the man he’d bound his life to.

Six-three or so, with blond hair, arctic blue eyes and the face of a Nordic god carved into marble, Jordan Bryne was an extraordinarily beautiful man—but he was also brilliant and driven, and Macklin had possibly been the first person to get past the brilliant and driven to see hot-blooded, noble heart inside.

Macklin didn’t remember often that Jordan was ten years younger than he was, and hadn’t had the benefit of Macklin’s magical education, but when he did, he always felt very protective of his younger lover.

Jordan could be wounded.

“You, uhm, sort of transported me. Us. During sex,” Macklin said, trying to sound dry and clinical but instead sounding goofy and smug.

Jordan caught that note in his voice and gave Mack a sideways look. “You sound proud of yourself,” he said dryly.

“On the contrary,” Macklin said a little drunk on post-orgasmic bliss and surprise. “I’m damned proud of you. You fucked me into another time and place.”

“Another time?” Jordan asked, alarmed.

“Do you see any cars on that road?” Macklin asked, gesturing to the churchyard beyond.

“Uhm, Mack—not to get too panicked here, but if we’re in another time and another place, how do we get out of here?” He grimaced. “I’m feeling it now. I must have made a helluva portal to get us here. I don’t know if I can make another one to get us back.”

Mack frowned and gestured for him to shush before reaching his hands out to the iron door of the altar. It was humming—softly—with a song Macklin felt like he knew.

“Jordan?” he said, eyes closed as he let  the song seep through his pores. “Do you hear that?”

Jordan closed his eyes. “Is that… ‘You Lost that Lovin’ Feeling’?” he asked.  The song had played a sweet moment in their courtship—judging by Jordan’s smile, Mack knew he remembered.

“So, should we go through the door?” Jordan asked, looking around. Off in the distance, near the church, they both saw a bunch of people gathering, the women in calico dresses and shawls, the men in wool trousers  and jackets. They were screaming and pointing at the two naked men who had obviously been doing something frightening before just popping into the churchyard.

Macklin grimaced. “I mean, the song is at least from our century,” he said. “But, uhm, I think we both need to go through.”

Jordan gave him a quick grin. “Hand in hand?” he said, bringing their laced fingers to his lips.

Macklin melted—or as much as he could melt considering he was starting to shiver uncontrollably. “Together,” he said, before reaching for the door latch.

The thing swung open, and while they could only see the silver of a gate beyond, they could hear their song.

They didn’t hesitate.


Bartholomew Baker very carefully scooped one Halloween cookie after another off the cookie sheet and onto the rack, making sure not to let them crumble or break.

“You know,” his boyfriend said lazily, watching him work, “these are for friends and not for work—you could have a broken one.”

“Professional pride,” Bartholomew said mildly, before giving Lachlan a heated look to the pillar supporting the vaulted roof of the house Lachlan had customized out of sheer artistry.  Built like a lumberjack—which was fitting—Lachlan was a skilled woodworker, but he was also an auburn-haired, green-eyed dreamboy and Bartholomew never took him for granted.

Lachlan raised his eyebrows, moving in as soon as his Tolly set down the pan. Six dozen cookies sat in neat rows, all of them waiting to be decorated during tomorrow’s Halloween party. Everybody else would be bringing dinner, because the coven knew how to celebrate right, but Bartholomew naturally got dessert.

He’d wanted these cookies to be special.

Lachlan got close enough to put his hands on Bartholomew’s hips and pull him close, lowering his head for a kiss. Bartholomew melted into his embrace, thinking that he didn’t need to eat his own cookies because Lachlan’s kisses were plenty.

Around them, for no reason at all, “You Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” began to play, and the two of them parted to frown at each other.

“I hate this song,” Lachlan muttered. “It’s damned sad—”

“But the scene from Top Gun!” Bartholomew protested.

“Whatever. I never thought he was that cute anyway. You’re missing the point.”

“Which is—”

“The music, Tolly—where’s the music coming from!”

Oh! That! Bartholomew squinted and looked around. Lachlan’s woodwork could grow damned magical sometimes, as evidenced by their coven table that would zap the people sitting around it if someone told a lie. “Did you make speakers? A stereo cabinet? Something that would—”

At that moment, all supposition stopped as Jordan and Macklin burst into the room.

Literally. Into the center of the room from nowhere.

Their feet were dirty, Macklin was covered in leaves and his knees and hands were muddy, and they were naked.

And shivering with cold.

“B-b-b-Barty?” Jordan asked, teeth chattering, and for a moment, Bartholomew and Lachlan stared at Jordan and Macklin, and Jordan and Macklin stared back.

Then Macklin said in a small voice. “Oh wow. It’s so warm in here. And are those cookies?”

“The actual hell,” Lachlan said flatly, just as Bartholomew said, “Here, there’s some blankets in the cupboard—let’s get you covered.”

Ten minutes later, they were seated around the table—the magic truth-telling table—and Jordan and Macklin were wrapped in blankets, eating Bartholomew’s still-warm sugar cookies, because Bartholomew could always make more, but it looked like his friends needed the sustenance, both figurative and spiritual.

“So,” Lachlan said, when things were settled. “We’re at the table. Is one of you going to tell us what happened?”

Macklin and Jordan met eyes and Jordan spoke.

“I fucked us through a hole in time and space and we ended up in a nineteenth century churchyard and a consecrated Goddess altar. It had a door. We heard our song and stepped through the door, and you know the rest.”

Lachlan waved his hand over the table, but they all knew you didn’t have to be touching it to feel the zap if there were any falsehoods involved.

“I, uh, don’t know if there’s a lesson we can learn from that,” Bartholomew said, eyes wide.

Lachlan snorted. “Well, they started out doing a fun trick and now they’re home getting a nice treat,” he said. “I think this means the goddess approves of Halloween.”

“And sex,” Macklin said, mouth full of cookies.

“And embarrassing the shit out of us,” Jordan added, eyebrows lowered.

Bartholomew laughed, a little cruelly. “Wait until we tell the rest of the coven.”

Jordan gave a pained grunt. “Please—”

“Not on your life,” Lachlan said, shaking his head. “They have got to hear this.”

Bartholomew gave another laugh. “But wait until they’re here tomorrow. Because, you know, the table.”

“Yup,” said Macklin, gazing at Jordan with something close to worship. “Funny how sometimes it takes a little magic to believe what magic can do.”

“And good sex,” Lachlan said, nodding. Then, “So… a New England churchyard. Any ideas where?”

Jordan and Macklin met eyes, frowning.

“I think,” Macklin said slowly, “that finding out where—and when and why—could be our next adventure.”

Jordan grinned. “Trick or treat,” he said happily.

“So may it be,” Bartholomew added, and they all heard a soft hum of happiness echoing throughout Lachlan’s amazing house.

Apparently adventures were a reward for a life well lived.

Funny how sometimes it takes a little magic to believe what magic can do.

Today’s contest / giveaway is for an ebook copy set of the first two Hedge Witches books, Shortbread and Shadows and Portals and Puppy Dogs.

For a chance to win, follow Amy on her BookBub page. After you follow, comment “done” here so we can be sure to include you in the random drawing. If you already follow Amy, comment “already following” for your entry.

Contest starts today. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced in our wrap up blog post on November 1st.

Good luck!!

Check out the Kick-off post HERE to see the full list of authors participating in our 2022 Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event. Links will be added to the main post each day when that author’s story goes live. Each post will include the inspiration image from a DeviantArt creator, the story, and the contest/giveaway info.

Happy Reading!!

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