Disclaimer: I own even less than usual.

Author's Note: I was re-reading Amulet of Samarkand and ZOMG, I'd forgotten how wonderfully slash some sections are. XD

Anyway, the following is pretty much a re-write of pages 317 through 320, adding in everything you KNOW you were thinking while reading it. Heeheehee… :3

Warnings: BartimaeusxNathaniel slash! AoS spoilers. But why you'd be reading Bartimaeus fanfiction without finishing at least the first book, I do not know.

Also, it should be mentioned that this story begins and eands rather abruptly. I know that. I did that on purpose. It is, after all, only supposed to be an excerpt…

FINALLY, PLEASE BARE IN MIND THAT OVER HALF OF THIS WAS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE BOOK, OR WAS ONLY SLIGHTLY RE-WORDED/CHANGED. THE OTHER HALF WAS INSPIRED BY THE STUFF THAT WAS ACTUALLY THERE. I SWEAR. GO RE-READ THE PAGES, IF YOU WANT.

Dedication: For Lessa, the newest Bartimaeus Slash Fan. X3 Again, happy birthday!

Selfish Plug: Check out the new Bartimaeus Slash C2! Please…?

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The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand

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Excerpt

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31

Nathaniel

… "Thanks to you, demon! If you hadn't led them to the house none of this would have happened!" Nathaniel seized on this idea like a drowning man. "It's all your fault and I'm going to pay you back! Think you're ever going to be freed? Think again! You're staying permanently. It's Perpetual Confinement for you!"

The boy was panting hard at this point, flushed from anger, frustration, and fear. And in his folly, it seemed he'd thought it possible to force a little of the latter onto the demon. But the abdominal creature merely smiled.

"Is that so? In that case—" the counterfeit boy stepped forward and was suddenly very close; Nathaniel could feel the heat of its chest seep through his wet clothes and into his skin. Rather than warm him, however, the child found himself feeling colder than ever. He longed to step away, step backwards… but his feet would not obey— "I might as well kill you myself right now. What have I got to lose? I'll be in the tin either way, but I'll have the…" The creature paused, considering—then unfurled a dangerous sort of smirk, eyes half-lidded and sparkling with amusement. " The satisfaction… of breaking your neck first."

Its hand descended gently on Nathaniel's shoulder, fingers lightly brushing against his thin, pale throat.

Nathaniel's skin crawled, his hair prickling as his stomach twisted. But he could show no fear… he resisted the overpowering temptation to shy and run, and instead stared back into the dark, blank eyes.

For a long moment, neither said anything. The fingers continued to feather across Nathaniel's shoulder, brush against his neck, caress his collar bone… a strange heat rose within him, tying his tongue—and other sections of his insides— into knots.

The djinni watched with impish delight as the boy's breathing grew shallower, harsher. "Well…?" it then prompted, its voice low, smooth, and unnervingly silky.

At last, Nathaniel licked his dry lips. "That won't be necessary," he said thickly, trying and failing to subtly clear his throat. "I'll free you before the month is up."

The fluttering hand stiffened on Nathaniel's upper arm; without warning, he was yanked nearer, pulled forward—without meaning to, he yelped in surprise. And while he previously hadn't thought it possible to be any closer to the demon… he'd been wrong. Now there was no space between them—not even a pocket of air. Their chests met and molded, creating friction with their clothes; the djinni's feet laced through Nathaniel's own; its shoulder cradled his head as its hands held him in place. That same frozen heat oozed into the child's body, melding it to the demon's.

He couldn't have moved if he tried.

A voice rumbled beside Nathaniel's ear; he couldn't see the demon speaking, held as he was, but he could feel the words as they reverberating through its throat and chest. It turned his limbs to jelly. "Free me now"

"No." Nathaniel swallowed, cursing his voice for its telling squeak, its accursed crack. "We have work to do first."

"Work?" The djinni seemed to frown; the hand began stroking his shoulder again. He was finding the embrace more and more distracting. "What work? What is there to do?"

Nathaniel forced himself to remain quite still, bottling the confusion and irritation that was bubbling up inside him. He didn't like the liquid heat that was running through his veins, couldn't understand why his skin tingled where the demon's body met his. He wished for the umpteenth time that he'd hid his birth name better; think of all the things he could have avoided! "My master and his wife are dead," he mumbled, forcing each word from his mouth. It took all of his concentration skills, all of his effort, to unstick each syllable from the back of his throat. "I must avenge them. Lovelace must pay for what he did."

A pause. Then he felt the djinni's head descend an inch, his cheek never leaving Nathaniel's. In seconds, the whispering mouth was nearer than ever before; oddly, the child could feel no breath against his face.

Another remind of what the thing holding him truly was.

"But I've told you," the counterfeit boy murmured; the heat of his husky voice sent shivers down Nathaniel's spine. "Lovelace is too powerful. You haven't a hope of besting him. Forget the matter, as I do," it wheedled softly, twirling a strand of Nathaniel's hair around a finger. "Release me and forget your troubles."

The demon made the request sound the most wonderful thing in the world; Nathaniel nearly wept with the desire to do the beautiful voice's bidding. But no—no, this was his slave! His...

He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block the djinni out. "I cannot."

"Why so?" the undaunted voice pressed soothingly.

"I—" Nathaniel struggled for a minute, trying to clear the fog out of his head. What was the reason again? Why didn't he want to let the creature go? Why did he want to stay here, frozen against the fake body with the whispering voice? He wasn't sure. But he had to say something. "I owe it to my master. He was a good man—"

"No, he wasn't. That's not the reason at all." The djinni whispered directly into his ear; Nathaniel seemed to turn into ice and fire simultaneously. Does it know? "It isn't justice or honor that drives you now, boy, but guilt. You can't take the consequences of your actions. You seek to drown out what you've done to your master and his wife. Well, if that's the way you humans choose to suffer, so be it. But leave me out of the equation."

The words were harsh, rough, and true, making them all the harder to hear… especially when hissed so sweetly right into his very soul. The teasing hands traced patterns up and down Nathaniel's arms, as if the demon was carving messages into them. It was unnerving… and strangely pleasant.

What was happening to him?!

Nathaniel spoke with a firmness he did not feel, forcing the fear and uncertainty and… and this foreign want out of his voice. "Until your month is up you'll obey me if you ever want your freedom."

A lilting chuckle.

"Going after Lovelace practically amounts to suicide in any case—yours and mine." The words were muffled, sharp, and deceptively saccharine… and though Nathaniel couldn't see it, he knew the boy was smiling nastily— because its curved lips were pressed against his throat.

A jolt of lightening seemed to shoot down Nathaniel's spine, crackling through each one of his nerves and starting every fiber of his being ablaze.

"That being so," the demon continued breezily, its mouth moving up and down the child's exposed neck… as if tasting it. A flutter of thick black lashes tickled his jaw line. "I still don't see why I shouldn't kill you now…"

"There will be ways to expose him!" Nathaniel could not help himself; he was speaking far too fast. Under the creature's ministrations, he could hardly control his words, his thoughts, his actions… his entire body seemed unmanageable. "We just need to think it through carefully. I'll make a bargain with you. Help me avenge myself on Lovelace and I'll set you free immediately afterwards. Then there can be no doubt about our… positions." For some reason, Nathaniel felt a scarlet blush rise on his cheeks. "It's in both of our interests, then, to succeed…"

Silence.

The lips against his throat paused; a moist, scalding hotness flicked warningly against his jugular. A purr of pleasure… In his befuddled state, Nathaniel wondered if he tasted good to the monster.

Then the heat was gone, his flesh cold where the tongue had been. With a hoarse chuckle, the demon pulled its face back an inch, just enough to lock their gazes. Its eyes glittered like black diamonds.

"As always," it breathed, "a laudably fair arrangement, dictated from a one-sided position of power." Its chest expanded as it took a deep breath; an airy sigh deflated it. And still, they remained as if glued together. Nathaniel squirmed, fully aware of every inch of his body and the way the demon was suddenly moving against him: slowly, as if testing its joints to make sure they worked after all this time. "Very well. I have no choice. But if at any time you place either of us at undue risk, be warned—"

It lowered its voice, cupped its master's chin with both hands, and leaned so far forward their foreheads met. Nathaniel choked on a gasp: its mouth was a centimeter away… and as it spoke, the boy could feel his own lips moving along.

"—I shall get my revenge first."

The threat echoed in the frosty air.

Nathaniel gulped. "A- agreed."

Abruptly, the phony boy stepped back and released Nathaniel's shoulders. And, as if a spell had been broken, Nathaniel retreated, eyes wide, breathing hard.

Humming gently, the djinni wandered to the window, reigniting the fire casually as it passed. But it was no longer necessary—Nathaniel was now more worried about cooling down. He felt as if his entire body had melted into a raging inferno.

Nathaniel struggled to calm himself, to regain control…

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