At dinner Jean-Luc waited patiently for cognac and coffee, his moment. They ate at a restaurant Cristina’s father had chosen, a wide, spare place where everybody knew him and yet was still surprised to see him, as if he was not expected for months, a prearranged date. “Gianluca,” they called him, “Il Linguatore,” the maker of language. Sophia stood a respectful distance away, his wife, her mother, allowed him to glow in his recognition until she too was welcomed, kissed, her and Cristina’s chairs pulled out for them in a show of grandeur. She was the curator of words, his keeper and his custodian, and Cristina was the returning bride, dark and full, a myth gone to the other side of the mountains and the border.