"My father."

I froze at Liam's words, feeling as though the air was being knocked out of my chest. This was his father

Liam's expression as he stared down at me was something I never wanted to see again for as long as I live. He looked upset, frustrated, angry, and mostly ashamed. 

"It's a pleasure to meet you my dear, it's so nice to see my son with such a stunning young lady." The man said in a fake nice tone, extending his hand to me.

Hesitating, I stepped forward to shake his hand. I was cut short though when Liam pulled me back, his arm still looped around my waist.

I looked up to see what was wrong but Liam was simply staring at his father, conveying what seemed to be a silent, but very angry message. 

"Are you not going to let me greet the girl?" Johnathan asked condescingly, his hand still extended towards me.

Liam said nothing, just continued holding me tightly to his side. I could feel him trembling.

"Liam, it's fine." I whispered, trying to get him to calm down. It was just a handshake for goodness sake.

Slowly, reluctantly, Liam loosened his grip on me so I could step forward and shake his father's hand. The second I did though, I regretted not staying by Liam. His grip was tight on my hand, but what freaked me out the most was the way he looked down at me. As if I were beneath him, belittling me just with his eyes. 

As quickly as socially acceptable, I ripped my hand away from his and stepped back to Liam, whose arm went right back around my waist. His hard gaze never left Johnathan though.

"So Carter," Johnathan began, "you were the young girl I saw at Liam's football match, am I correct?"

My smile was forced and tight.

"Yes. And you were the man at the fence who was staring at me. Correct?" I replied bluntly, not bothering to feign niceness like everyone else here obviously did. Liam tensed up at my words, his fingertips digging into my hip.

Instead of seeming offended though, Johnathan simply threw his head back and laughed haughtily.

"Well I suppose that could have been construed as staring, yes. I was just curious as to who it was that had been sitting with my sister. Not to mention your gaze hardly ever left my son."

Wait, Tanya is his sister? I knew that Liam was her nephew but I never made the connection until now.

"Oh I see. Liam didn't tell you that Tanya was my sister?" Johnathan added in a smug tone, seeing the surprised expression on my face.

"Dad." Liam replied in a harsh voice, staring at his father with fury in his eyes.

Johnathan turned to Liam, his jaw clenched even with his wicked smile.

"Oh and did you also forget to tell her that I strictly forbade you to speak with your aunt and her pathetic excuse for a husband? Did that escape your narrow mind as well?" He spat.

My breath caught in my throat. So first Johnathan refers to Bill as a 'pathetic excuse for a husband' when Bill is one of the best men I've ever met, then he talks to Liam in that condescending tone? Hell no. That doesn't fly with me.

"Dad this is not -"

"Wait hold up. How dare you talk about Bill that way?" I interrupted Liam, staring at his now shocked father. "That man loves Tanya with everything he has, and he's a damn good father to Anthony. That's obviously a contrast to you, talking down to your own son. Who do you think you are?" 

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