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"Well, it's finally happened," Valerie said

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"Well, it's finally happened," Valerie said.

"What has?" Sol replied from the bathroom.

"Wilson's declared war on Germany. We're going to fight."

Sol emerged through the doorway, naked but for the towel wrapped around his waist. Valerie was in bed, hidden behind the pages of the New York Times.

"Oh, we are, are we?" he smiled. "You got a gun hidden under that pillow I should know about?"

"Ladies don't use guns."

"Some do."

Valerie lowered her paper. "Then they're not ladies."

"And you are?"

She threw the paper at him. "So rude. I don't know why I let you stay here, sometimes. Get over here."

Sol went to her and crawled onto the bed. Valerie pulled him into a kiss.

"Let's go for a walk through Central Park," she said.

"I'd like to, but I can't."

"I thought you said you weren't working today."

"I'm not. I have to go home."

"Your mother can look after herself."

"Not if she falls and can't get up, she can't."

"Doesn't she have neighbours?"

"None that she likes. She'd rather die than ask a stranger for help."

"She might feel differently if you stopped mollycoddling her. She's a grown woman; she doesn't need a babysitter."

"She's blind."

"So was my aunt, and she was one of the most independent women I've ever met."

"I didn't tell her I was staying out all night. She'll be worried about me."

Valerie sighed. "Fine then, go. Maybe I'll look for another young musician to warm my bed."

"Oh, is that so? Maybe you can find yourself a nice young banjo player."

"You're awful."

"Then that's your fault. I used to be a respectable man before I met you."

"Will I see you tonight?"

"I don't know. I haven't made my mind up yet."

"Then let me help you." Valerie pulled him into a long kiss before pushing him away and slipping out of bed. Sol watched her as she crossed to the bathroom, wearing even less than he was. "Lock the door on the way out," she said, and she closed the bathroom door behind her.

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