"You're mad, Anthony."
Anthony Thorpe shook his head and took another long swallow of ale. "No, I'm not, Simon. I tell you there's something odd about Valentine."
Anthony and Simon Brokehill were sitting in The Mermaid Tavern, relaxing and drinking after another long day of rehearsals.
"Valentine? Who's Valentine?"
Anthony looked over at Lucy Howard, who was standing next to their table.
Simon smiled up at her. "Ah, my beauteous Lucy." He slid his arm about her waist. "When are you going to finally allow me the pleasure of your sweet company?"
"When the moon falls and bulls give milk. Now, who is this Valentine?"
"Valentine Sparrow," Simon said, his grin widening. "A new boy actor with the company. And a rare beauty he is, too."
-- from "By Any Other Name" by Anna Black