"What?" Carter asked incredulously, and next thing I knew she was standing beside me looking out the window as well. "Why is your dad -"

"I don't know, but I'm going to find out." I said firmly, turning to face her and putting my hands on her cheeks gently. "I'm going to get him to leave, I won't let him ruin your time with your family."

Carter smiled crookedly at me, shaking her head. "It's fine, just...don't do anything stupid."

I chuckled, pressing my lips to her forehead. I didn't care that her whole family was watching our exchange. "I make no promises." I murmured before letting her go and heading for the front door. I could hear Carter's mother saying something but I paid no attention. 

I stormed out the door and shut it a bit too forcefully behind me, trying to keep my cool. Why the fuck is my father here? And how did he even know where to find me?

I glared at my dad, who was leaning against the side of his stupid silver Porsche as I went down the front steps of the porch. He seemed very laid back, but I knew the man well enough to know that he was probably pissed beyond belief. And yet for one of the first times in my life, it wasn't bothering me. It was just making me mad too. Instead of wanting to run away from him, I was wanting to punch him...again.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" I asked harshly as I neared him, finally looking up at me. I stopped about five feet away, hoping the distance would keep my rage at bay. I was fuming.

"First, you will not use that language with me." He chastised. I rolled my eyes, he was in Johnathan Payne, CEO mode. "Secondly, I'm here to find out what the hell has gotten into that stupid head of yours. You didn't show up to work yesterday. And I demand to know why."

I laughed bitterly, throwing my hands up in the air. "For fuck's sake Dad. You told me you never wanted to see me again, of course I didn't go to work. And I had better things to do!"

"Better things to do?" He hissed. "What could possibly be more important than your duties preparing to take over the industry I have built for you?! You think running off with some girl -"

"The industry you've built for me?! No Dad, you built that industry for yourself. For the money that you think is so damn important when at the end of the day it means nothing! And she is not just some girl!"

My father was the one to laugh this time and my fists were clenched so tight it hurt. 

"Oh son you are so naive. That girl is a nobody, and if you keep hanging around her then you'll become one too. Do you really think she gives a damn about you?"

"Actually, she does!" I shouted, stepping closer. I could feel the fury in my veins and there was no stopping it now. "And you want to know how I know that? Because all my life, not a single person has ever given a shit about me. And now, somebody does. So I know what I've been missing. So don't you dare tell me she's a nobody!" I shoved my father back against his car and he winced. 


I turned and looked back at the front door to see Carter coming out, looking at me worriedly. Her father was behind her as well. She turned and whispered something to him, and he nodded before going back inside.

"Everything's fine, Carter." I called out weakly, looking away from her and back to my dad, who was straightening out his stupidly expensive suit. 

"Are you sure?" She asked, coming down the porch steps and walking towards us. "Because it doesn't look to me like everything's fine." She crossed her arms and looked at my father with an attitude. "May I ask why you're here, Mr. Payne?" 

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