He buried his face into my shoulder and lifted me up off the ground, spinning me in a circle.
“Hey daddy,” I said, when he put me back down.
“Hey baby girl,” he said, his eyes shining with tears. He cupped my face and studied me. “You look beautiful.”
“Flattery will get you nowhere.”
He smiled. “Same old Zoe, eh?”
“No, I’m so much more awesome. Like, beast mode.”
Before I could escape, he had me in a headlock. “Who’s the awesome one now?” he growled, laughing.
“Still me!” I called, wriggling to get out.
“Say I’m the bestest daddy in the whole wide world and I’ll let you go.”
We wrestled for a couple more seconds.
“Fine, you’re the bestest daddy in the whole wide world!” I cried out, laughing.
He released me and I gut punched him.
“All’s fair in love and war father dear.”
He steered me towards the table with Emma and Mason, who were watching us amusedly.
“Is that the boyfriend?” he asked, loudly.
I rolled my eyes. “Yes dad, that’s my boyfriend.”
“Great.” He led me over to the table, and I sat down next to Mason.
Emma’s phone rang, Rob’s ringtone. She hesitated, and then stood up. “I’ll be right back.”
She left, leaving Mason and I alone with my dad.
“So you’re dating my daughter?” my dad said, clasping his hands in front of him. He raised his eyebrows.
My dad stuck out his hand. “Charles Baker. You can call me Mr. Baker.”
Mason shook his hand. “Mason Walker.”
“I have eight rules when it comes to dating my Zoe.”
I groaned and put my head in my hands. “Dad.”
“Zoe.” He looked directly into Mason’s eyes. “Do you think you can handle that?”
“Good. See Zoe, no need to be all embarrassed and red-faced.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Would you like to know the eight rules Mason?”
“You sound like you’re stuck on repeat,” dad said, laughing.
Mason looked at me, anxiety written all over his face.
“Dad, leave him alone,” I said.
“Not until he knows the rules.”
I groaned. My dad rarely went into parent-mode, but when he did, there was no use in arguing.
“Rule one won’t be relevant at this moment, but it’s still important to know. Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as hell not picking anything up."
“Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them."
“Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.”
“Dad,” I said, holding up my hand to stop him. “This is completely irrelevant. Mason doesn’t do that kind of thing.”
“Not yet he hasn’t,” dad said, raising his eyebrows at me. “There’s no saying he won’t try. It’s just a warning Zoe.”
Mason looked like he was going to pee his pants.
“Oh God,” I muttered, burying my face in my hands.
“Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a 'barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.”
“Oh my God!” I screeched. “Dad!”
“Hey, I gave you that purity ring for a reason.”
I pointed to the chain around my neck. “It’s still there dad.”
“And it will sure as hell stay there.”
I peeked over at Mason, who was biting back a laugh. Smart guy. If he busted out laughing right now, my dad might attack him. When my dad goes all fatherly, it’s serious.
|Ariana Grande||as Zoe Baker|
|Paddy Mitchell||as Carson Walker|
|Robbie Amell||as Mason Walker|
|Zac Efron||as Ethan Walker|
|David Henrie||as Cody Walker|
|Jennifer Aniston||as Emma Walker|
|Patrick Dempsey||as Robert Walker|
|AnnaSophia Robb||as Melanie|
|Selena Gomez||as Haley Thompson|
|Shailene Woodley||as Alison Mariano|
|Kherington Payne||as Alyssa Carter|
|Logan Lerman||as Spencer|
|Harry Styles||as Joseph Walker|
|Jake T. Austin||as James Walker|
|James Wolk||as Charles Baker|
|Caleb Cohen||as Chase Walker|
|Julianne Hough||as Ms. K|