The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)

And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely,
His.

Asscrown," I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn't proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.

Noah matched my pace. "Don't you mean 'assclown'?" He looked amused.

"No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.

"I guess you nailed me then.

Did I just see you litter?'
'I'm driving a hybrid. It cancels out.

Fix me," I commanded him. "This thing, what I've done - there's something wrong with me, Noah. Fix it."

Noah's expression broke my heart as he brushed my hair from my face, and skimmed the line of my neck. "I can't"

"Why not?" I asked, my voice threatening to crack.

"Because," he said, "You're not broken.

Have you kissed many boys before?" he asked quietly.
His question brought my mind back into focus. I raised an eyebrow. "Boys? That's an assumption."
Noah laughed, the sound low and husky. "Girls, then?"
"No."
"Not many girls? Or not many boys?"
"Neither," I said. Let him make of that what he would.
"How many?"
"Why—"
"I am taking away that word. You are no longer allowed to use it. How many?"
My cheeks flushed, but my voice was steady as I answered. "One."
At this, Noah leaned in impossibly closer, the slender muscles in his forearm flexing as he bent his elbow to bring himself nearer to me, almost touching. I was heady with the proximity of him and grew legitimately concerned that my heart might explode. Maybe Noah wasn't asking. Maybe I didn't mind. I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o' clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear.
"He was doing it wrong.

How did you get my number?" I blurted, before I could stop myself.
"It's called research." I could hear him smirking over the phone.
"Or stalking."
Noah chuckled. "You're adorable when you're bitchy."
"You're not," I said, but smiled despite myself.

I hate you," I muttered.
Noah smiled wider. "I know.

In my rush, I hadn’t tied my shoelaces. Noah was now tying them for me.
He looked up at me through his dark fringe of lashes and smiled. The expression on his face melted me completely. I knew I had the goofiest grin plastered on my lips, and didn’t care.
“There,” he said as he finished tying the laces on my left shoe. “Now you won’t fall.”
Too late.

Is there any point asking what you're going to make me do on Sunday?'
'Not really.'
Okay. 'Is there any point asking what you're going to do to me?'
He grinned wickedly. 'Not really.'
Fabulous. 'Does it involve the use of a safe word?'
'That will depend entirely on you.' Noah moved impossibly closer, just inches away. A few freckles disappeared into the scruff on his jaw. 'I'll be gentle,' Noah added. My breath caught in my throat as he looked at me from beneath those lashes, ruining me.
I narrowed my eyes at him. 'You're evil.'
In response, Noah smiled, and raised his finger to gently tap the tip of my nose. 'And you're mine,' he said, then walked away.

I was going to kiss him, and I was going to regret it. But at that moment, I couldn't bring myself to care.

I was warned about you, you know."
And with that half-smile that wrecked me, Noah said, "But you're here anyway.

Mara, I have never felt about anyone the way I feel about you. And when you're ready for me to show you," he said, brushing my hair to the side, "I'm going to kiss you." His thumb grazed my ear and his hand curved around my neck. He leaned me backward and my eyes fluttered closed. I breathed in the scent of him as he leaned in and kissed the hollow under my ear. My pulse raced under his lips.
"And I won't settle for anything less.

My girl is talented," Noah said.
My heart stopped beating.

Noah shifted on the bed, and the oddest crunching sound came underneath him. I looked, really looked, at the bed for the first time.

"What," I asked slowly, as I eyed the animal crackers strewn all over it, "the hell?"

"You were convinced they were your pets," Noah said, not even trying to suppress his laughter. "You wouldn't let me touch them.

No, it isn't irrelevant. You want me as much as I want you. And all I want is you.

Rubbish. The Taj Mahal is only a hundred eighty-six square feet. This house has twenty-five thousand."
I stared at him blankly.
"I was kidding," he said.
I stared at him blankly.
"All right, I wasn't kidding. Let's go, shall we.?"
"After you, my liege.

That mouth. Smoking was a bad habit, yes. But he looked so good doing it.

Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.

Wait," I said as Noah slipped a book from a shelf and headed toward the door. "Where are you going?"
"To read?"
But I don't want you to.
"But I need to go home," I said, my eyes meeting his. "My parents are going to kill me."
"Taken care of. You're at Sophie's house."
I loved Sophie.
"So I'm...staying here?"
"Daniel's covering for you."
I loved Daniel.
"Where's Katie?" I asked, trying to sound casual.
"Eliza's house."
I loved Eliza.
"And your parents?" I asked.
"Some charity thing."
I loved charity.
"So why are you going to read when I'm right here?

What could I say? Noah, despite you being an asshole, or maybe because of it, I'd like to rip off your clothes and have your babies.

What would you do if I kissed you right now?"
I stared at his beautiful face and his beautiful mouth and I wanted nothing more than to taste it. "I would kiss you back.

Where are you going?”
“My God, you’re like the plague.”
“A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless moral resonance? Why, thank you. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me,” he said.
“The disease, Noah. Not the book.”
“I’m ignoring that qualification.

Why do you always look like you just rolled out of bed?'
'Because usually I have.' And the way he raised his eye-brow at me made me blush.
'Classy,' I said.

You could start a fire with the heat between you two."
"You're mistaking bitter animosity for heartfelt affection.

You're distracting,' I said truthfully.
'I won't be. I promise,' Noah said. 'I'll get some crayons and draw quitely. Alone. In a corner.

You're supposed to say, 'All I want is your happiness. I'll do whatever it takes, even if it means being without you.'"
"Sorry," Noah said. "I'm just not that big of a person.

You're the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You're the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you're wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You're the girl that I--" Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. "You are my girl.

You smell good," he whispered into my neck. He was warm against me. Instinctively, I arched back into him and smiled.
"Really?"
"Mmm-hmm. Delicious. Like bacon.

You told me I smelled - like bacon."
"Well," he said evenly. "That's awkward.

You want me as much as I want you. And all I want is you."
My tongue warred with my mind. "Today," I whispered.
Noah stood slowly, his body skimming mine as he rose. "Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever.