Emily Lightman could always tell when her father was genuinely angry. More than that, she could also tell when he was hiding something. So when she arrived home from Clare's house that evening to find her Dad and Gillian Foster sitting on the sofa, she had to suppress a smile…
"Ah there you are!" her Dad exclaimed, jumping up from the sofa. "About time! I want to talk to you."
Emily could tell this wasn't genuine anger. He was putting on a show, no doubt to cover up why he and Gillian were sitting closer together than usual; why she was there at eleven o'clock at night; and why he had a permanent grin on his face.
"You said it was okay for me to stay out until now. In fact, you said midnight. I'm early." She played along. It wouldn't do for her to reveal her hand; he couldn't know that she could read him like this.
"That's not what I mean and you know it!"
"We sorted that out earlier too. You deserved the 'mini-heart-attack', as you put it. You made Rick feel really uncomfortable at my party."
"It is not your place to exact revenge on your old man. I've had all day to think about it and I don't find your little joke funny."
"Well, I do… And Gillian seems to."
This was not an attempt at deflecting her father's attention. Emily's comment had been an observation: Because Gillian did seem rather amused. Her cheeks were a little flushed and she too was trying to hide a smile. Emily frowned as she looked at her.
Her dad glanced over his shoulder, as if checking if what Emily was saying was true. Gillian met his eyes with a forced look of innocence but couldn't stop her smile from resurfacing.
Her intrigued deepening, Emily looked at her dad, finding that he also could not contain his smile. And the way his and Gillian's eyes shone as they were staring at each other…
"Oh my God!" Emily exclaimed, putting all the pieces together. "I do not need those mental images… I'll just be going to my room."
She headed for the stairs but obediently stopped when her dad told her to.
"Hey!" he reprimanded her. "We're not -"
"I won't do it again," she assured him.
He nodded. "Right. Good. Good night then."
"Good night." She smiled and addressed their guest. "Good night, Gillian."
"Night, Em," Gillian smiled softly, clearly a little embarrassed.
Emily resumed her path up the stairs, throwing over her shoulder, "See you in the morning."
It was true she didn't need those mental images, but she was happy that those two had finally seen sense. She certainly had not expected that to be the outcome of her little prank, but she didn't mind at all.