Printable Version of Topic
Click here to view this topic in its original format
Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > Debriefing, but not that way
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 03:46 AM
Marcello was still looking rather tired, but in significantly better spirits as he made his way back up to the deck after talking to Neely.
He approached the captain's cabin hesitantly, not particularly in the mood to walk in on either a catfight or girly bonding, if either one was still taking place.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 03:56 AM
Niabheara lay on her stomach on the small bed, her ankles coiled together and a rather battered, scraped-thin scrap of vellum before her. With the stub of one of Judith's foraged black graphite sticks, she absorbed herself in frowning at columns that refused to add up properly. When Marcello entered, she pushed the page away and sat up, brow knitted, a question in her eyes.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 03:59 AM
Marcello walked over to the bed, leaned over, kissed the top of her head, and then nudged her to make room. "I talked to your parents," he said. "It want...worse than I expected with Judith and better than I expected with Neely. What are you doing now? Are you all right?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 04:05 AM
"I . . . nothing." She drew a line down her figures and tried to scrub her black fingertips with the inside hem of her sleeve. "Predicting the likelihood of this matter being resolved before the kine-fodder harvest." She scooted over enough to allow him beside her, folding her hands like an attentive scholar. "I'm sorry if Mother was a terror, but . . . Father?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 04:10 AM
He flopped down beside her, tucking her hair behind one ear so he could kiss her cheek. "He's either the greatest liar I've ever met, or he cares about you a good deal more than I expected," he answered. "He told me some about Auberon; he said we've got our plans together better than he expected. He suggested Oireachteigh before I even mentioned it. And he wanted to know how you're holding up."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 04:16 AM
Niabheara's spine stiffened when he moved her hair. "I suspect he may be lying. That or imprisonment has made him contrite." Then she leaned in closer to Marcello. "And Mother?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 04:20 AM
"Got haughty at the idea that I might suggest we should all be giving a damn about your state of mind," Marcello answered dryly. "I...I think he was at least partly genuine," he said honestly. "But he also warned me that I shouldn't be looking for anyone with pure motives."
He gave her a dry look. "Both of them seemed to be of the opinion that you've only been keeping me along to bed you," he informed her. "If anything, I think I cleared up that misconception."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 04:27 AM
Niabheara sucked in her lower lip and cut her eyes hard toward Marcello. Finally she let out her breath. "Odd for Father to be forthcoming and Mother was difficult. Granted, I haven't much to go on with Father, save for history and hearsay."
Tentatively, she reached out and laid her hand on the back of Marcello's neck. "What do you mean, pure motives?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 04:34 AM
Marcello bent his neck, relaxing under her touch, and nuzzled his head against hers. "Mmm...I think he meant that we should assume everyone has an ulterior motive, and that none of them are doing anything solely out of love for you. That they've all got personal wishes of one kind or another...not that they're all bad, but we've got to expect there's always something else and not worry about whether they have them. Just expect they do. I think...the only person I wouldn't apply that to is Morgana," he admitted quietly. "She's in this because she loves you."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 04:44 AM
"Morgana's well away from this, and will remain so, I hope." She hesitated before drawing his head nearer. "I don't think . . . there's always something, isn't there? I already knew that. E'en for me. I want peace, but I want to be left alone more."
A second thought occurred to her; she crooked her brow at him. "His mentioning Oireachteigh almost makes me want to change plans."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 04:52 AM
"That was..." Marcello hesitated. "A little what I spoke to them about. I want...I don't want you to be unhappy. Both of them seem certain you should be Queen, but I don't know that that's...well, it's not going to mean you're left alone," he said quietly.
He put a hand on her back. "You want to change plans?" he asked. "Why? Because of him, or because you think someone else will guess at it too?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 04:58 AM
"I already know that. This is more important." She played with the nape of his neck. "You worry too much," she said. "Though I'll admit, we've both had too much cause."
With a quiet sigh, she took her hand away. "Part of both. I still don't trust him. He's been in with the Puck. He came back to life, they came back to life . . . "
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 05:05 AM
Marcello turned a bit to look at her face. "You worry just as much as I do," he pointed out. "If I weren't doing some of the worrying for you, your brow would be so wrinkled, they'd be building bridges across the creases."
He looked pointedly at her. "He came back to life a long time after they did. And that is one thing Judith said before she decided to spend the entire conversation belittling me, was that she doesn't really think he's a villain so much as he made the wrong enemies. I don't want to entirely trust him, but he wants you to be Queen. He hates Titania. For those two things alone, I think he's a worthy ally. We can use allies now; it doesn't mean we need them later," he said, paraphrasing Neely's own advice.
He bit his lip. "I do want to see you happy. I just don't know what would make you happiest."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 05:14 AM
"I'm only curious as to what he'll want in return. He did start all this trying to take the Horn," she reminded him. "And I don't believe him when he says he wanted it for a bargaining chip for his own safety, or whate'er story he's changed to now. All signs point to his taking it for his own purposes--against Titania or against me, it hardly matters."
With a slight frown, she touched his bottom lip. "Most days I don't know what would make me happiest. I think to be home. We can only work at that." In a sudden flare of curiosity, her eyes burned bright. "What would make you happiest?'
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 05:19 AM
"I think if we--"
His cheeks went a bit pink.
"Ah. I don't really think I've considered it," he admitted. "I think it mostly involves going back to Cnoch-na-Niall, sleeping in sinfully late, going on picnics, and kissing you 'til my lips go numb. I...I could manage if you were Queen, but it seems like it'll be an awful lot of drudgery for people who are going to spend the next odd decades challenging your claim to the throne."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 05:29 AM
"And then again, you couldn't stay always," she pointed out very quietly. "Soon or late, you'll have to go back to your own lands."
Taking his hand, she traced a fingernail down the centre of his palm. "It's not a matter of 'managing', Marcello. I realised I . . . I don't know what you want."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 05:35 AM
"I'll give them over to someone else," Marcello answered. "I don't need them. I'm not...I've never been much good at planning things out...I mean, details, plots, yes. But long term plans? I've never had a reason to have any before."
He shut his eyes as he flexed his fingers, opening his hand flat out at her touch. "I want to stay with you," he said. "That's all I want. I don't care where you go, who you end up being. Just you, and I'll be happy."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 05:41 AM
Niabheara shook her head. "That's not what I meant. Your own people. You can't stay and remain as you are. I've already explained this. If there were any other way to . . . I don't know either." Her stomach suddenly felt sick and wrenched. "It will happen. You'll want something for yourself. Not me. You can't . . . be like this."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 05:47 AM
"And you said it wasn't something to worry about for a very many years yet," Marcello said, giving her a questioning look. He reached to take both of her hands. "And so, if I have to go back, I want it to be briefly, and I want you to come with me. As a visit. I'd even take you to meet the rest of my family," he offered, eyes bright as he opened them to look at her. "I love you. I want to be here; I want to help you; if you become Queen, I'll be your Queensman. If you go back to Cnoch-na-Niall, I'll...be whatever post you wish to give me. I want to learn everything I need to learn to stay here and do a good job of it. I-- if I want something else, someday..." He shrugged. "We'll work it out when it happens. If it happens. That's what you do when you love someone. I think I can do that."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 05:41 PM
She squeezed down on his hands to the point of seeming to want to inflict pain, but didn't look back at him. "I don't like this," she said, low and worried. "That makes it sound as if I'm keeping you here of my good graces rather than for your own merits. "
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 05:55 PM
Marcello squirmed, not wanting to let go of her hands, but..."Let up a little?" he asked softly. "I didn't think we still needed to talk about this," he said helplessly. "Niabheara, you're not keeping me here. I'm here because this is what I want. Isn't that what we've been discussing? I want to be here. I want to stay with you. I want to help you. If I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't be here. I'd be so far gone you wouldn't know where I was or how to reach me. I don't know what you want me to say. I'm happier with you than I've been in my life."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 3 2008, 06:16 PM
She slacked her grip. Unsurprisingly, it felt as if most matters were likewise slipping out of her hands. The pressure in the pit of her stomach was now a steadily tightening band. "I want you to stay as well," she said in the tone of a confession, "only . . . I can't help how it feels to me. And it still feels as if I'm dragging you about from pillar to post. I treat people as servants. I ne'er mean to; I ne'er realise that's what I'm doing until someone points it out to me."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 06:43 PM
Marcello wriggled his hands out of hers, instead reaching to wrap his arms around her. "Come here," he coaxed softly, pulling her closer. "You're not treating me as a servant, promise. Now you're worrying too much. You're not dragging me about; if you went without me, I'd be heartbroken. Promise," he repeated. "You don't think I feel the same way sometimes? Like I'm making decisions for you that might be the wrong ones? Like I've got to be responsible for the way your future turns out? And it won't be like this for always. Sooner or later, we'll be settled in somewhere and not have to worry about who's dragging whom."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 12:12 AM
The idea of Marcello being heartbroken under any circumstances did not seem to be reassuring. When he put his arms around her, she laid her head on his chest, albeit a little awkwardly, as if she wasn't sure how to rest her weight. "You're not responsible. You know you're not. You shouldn't have to be."
All she knew right now was that she badly, badly wanted to back away from this conversation and start anew at some other time--perhaps tomorrow, when she'd had time to mull the matter over, or perhaps in a few months or years or whenever there was absolutely nothing else more pressing hovering over her head. This was more pressing. And the best way she knew to shut Marcello up was to tip his chin down to her level and kiss him, very softly.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 12:46 AM
Marcello, who looked very much like he has been about to answer her, seemed sated by the kissing, kissed her back, just as softly, and scooped her up in his arms, as his hands slid down to her waist, and his mouth trailed away from hers, leaving a row of kisses across her cheek and up over her eyes. "Love you," he murmured. "Nor should you have to be," he pointed out. "And everyone knows it. However they answer me. Mmm..."
He chose to neglect this conversation in favor of more kisses.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 01:10 AM
Plan had officially backfired. Badly. She had successfully distracted Marcello while at the same time distracting herself. Her arms snaked around him as if they operated independent of the rest of her. "Darling, this is . . . " Time to stop kissing now. " . . . probably, mmm . . . " Right, maybe now? " . . . not a good time for . . . " Now?
Finally--she was never sure just how--she got herself away from Marcello, on her feet, and off the bed.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 01:12 AM
And Marcello was up like a shot, brow knitting as he looked the girl over. "What's wrong?" he asked.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 01:22 AM
"Nothing's wrong. We were--" She ran her hand across the front of her hair. "Talking about something else? We weren't done? And you know as well as I do that--gods, but you smell really good." She covered half her face with one hand, looking extremely frustrated and aroused and predominantly flustered.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 01:28 AM
Marcello grinned, then patted the bed beside him. "Come back. We'll talk, and then I'll undo your laces with my teeth," he teased. "Or do you want me to stand up? What do I smell like?" he asked, more curious than anything else, and he tipped his head down to sniff.
Then he looked up, more serious. "Where were we?" He paused for a moment, thoughtful. "All right. Look," he said, serious. "I'm here because I love you; if I didn't love you, I wouldn't be doing this, and you don't need to be worried that you're using me. All right? Whatever you want, right now, that's what I want. If my life is ever in danger, I'll expect you to want what I want in return. Fair?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 01:38 AM
Her skin erupted in gooseflesh. "Burnt cloves," she murmured, drifting back toward him, although she declined to sit. "All you tallfolk smell like something smouldering. I've ne'er figured out just why."
And then of course Marcello's next statement made the bottom fall out of her stomach completely. She pressed her hand to her middle, swallowed, and nodded weakly. "Fair enough."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 01:40 AM
But the young man frowned, and held out a hand. "Love, you don't look right," he said quietly. "Did something happen?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 02:10 AM
"Nothing happened," Niabheara said. It sounded defensive to herself; she didn't even want to imagine how it might sound to him. Then she sighed again. "It's . . . Elaine and I were speaking earlier; you knew that already. She's so much . . . not what I expected." She chuckled. "I suppose I cast her be some vile seductress entangling men in her hair and whatnot, but . . . We only talked. Some about Jochy, and some about Mother. And a bit about you." She reached out and did the favour of tugging his earlobe for him.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 02:15 AM
Marcello grinned, turning his head so he could nibble at her hand. "I am rather glad she didn't kill you. What'd you say?" he asked, half-jokingly. "About me?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 02:41 AM
"Girl-talk." Niabheara dipped her head and reflected briefly on the futility of excusing herself with 'girl-talk' to a man with that many sisters. "Just . . . questions. Apparently any relationship with Jochy is decidedly lacking in romance. I was giggling too hard to say much."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 02:57 AM
"Giggling?" Marcello asked, looking a bit cheered by that. "So the two of you got along, then?" he asked, then smiled. "I'm glad. It'll be good for you to have some proper friends aboard. We've been wanting for company besides each other for too long."
Then he grinned. "We're not lacking in romance, are we?" he asked cheerfully. "And then we get back on the subject."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 03:16 AM
"I've ne'er had romance," she said nervously. "I don't think so? It doesn't matter. It was personal. I didn't have anything to tell her. It's not as if we've, er. Been involved. All that long."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 03:29 AM
Marcello gave the girl a rather affectionate look, and finally stood, so he could put his arms around her shoulders. "It feels longer than it'd been," he agreed. "It feels like years since we left Cnoch-na-Niall." He sighed, blew out a breath. "Which is one of the things I talked to both your parents about. You know Judith said it...being Queen...hasn't always been like it is now. The Queen used to be able to come and go as she pleased. I...I'd like to work that out, whether there's a way to make certain you can do. And..." Now he tugged his own ear. "I don't know what you'd like to do about Cnoch-na-Niall if you are Queen. I can't imagine you could leave it."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 03:45 AM
Now she felt on firmer ground. "Cnoch-na-Niall's been the High Court's seat before. It could be again." Despite herself, she felt a flutter of excitement at the concept. She leaned against him once more. "And if it can't be undone, the matter of my not being able to leave . . . but if it was done once, there's no saying it couldn't be again. How long ago was this, did she say?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 03:50 AM
"If it could be..." Marcello said, his eyes widening eagerly at her suggestion. "I was going to say it, but I didn't want to seem a fool if it weren't possible. If it could be, then I say that's what we do. And she said...I'm not certain when, exactly, but certainly during Morgana's time, she said. She says she's not sure why the Queen can't leave now, but that it hasn't always been so. I want to find out what needs to be righted, so that we can. Surely it's something that can be fixed, a spell or a curse or a contract."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 04:02 AM
"Which Morgana? There've been . . . " She counted on her fingers. "Four. No, five. Titania's mother was the one who opened trade with the Mainland, but then Titania closed it all down again. She's been the one against the Mainland for ages."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 04:07 AM
Marcello sighed. "I...am not sure which one," he admitted. "She didn't say, but...it was before your mother's time. Which I know is very, very long, but...it's still a chance." He sighed. "And I think that's a bad policy. Closing yourselves off. You needn't be friendly with the mainland, but...just look around here. The lines of trade in and of themselves would be beneficial, and...it would be better to know what's going on. I'd want to keep an eye on Aquitaine."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 04:59 PM
Niabheara pressed her lips together and nodded. "The little I heard, Aquitaine does seem to have her hands in everything." She had to repeat 'Aquitaine' in her head several times before she was comfortable that the way she had said it was anything resembling correctly. "Mother might be useful there as well. But moreo'er, we must clean our own house first. Trade with the Mainland will be part of it, but I'd scarcely bring more unfortunates into the mess we've made of things."
Her hands rolled into little fists; her teeth set. "I don't understand this? Is Cecilia a decent example of anything? Because from what I saw there's guards to keep the peace; it's clean, it's orderly, there's no . . . " She groped for a term to express it. "We're backwards."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 05:12 PM
"Ah..." Marcello hesitated before he answered, reaching for Niabheara's fists to put them at ease. "Don't be hard on yourself like that; it's happened to every country that cuts itself off," he pointed out quietly. "You've talked to Elaine; her Africa hasn't got anything on the Erins. They live in straw huts there, from what I've seen. But the Erins is..." He chewed on his lip. "It's what most of us imagine the world was like...three, four hundred years ago?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 05:29 PM
Niabheara snorted lightly. "You didn't stray much outside the castle walls, and you didn't go at all into the village. Beggars in Cecilia live better than most nobles I know of. I was watching." She allowed her fists to unwind. "That would be another reason to be able to leave. I don't think people know the size of the world outside."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 05:39 PM
Marcello bit down on his lip, then swallowed, and tipped his head down to gaze at the girl. "I walked around Oireachteigh," he pointed out. "I've never been in a place so desolate. I'd like to go into the village when we get home," he said. "With your permission. I'm going to need to know the state of things, firsthand, if I'm going to help."
He smiled at her. "And you can come to my Italy," he pointed out warmly. "And England. I think England would be good for you; it's...closer to the Erins, in terms of people and climate and resources. You'd get a better gauge of what could be built, could be done. I..."
He paused again, watching her. "Every time I think I've decided one way or another whether it's best for you to be Queen or not, you surprise me and change my mind. Right now, I think there's no one else in the world who would make a better Queen. And I think you could do it without making yourself unhappy."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 05:53 PM
"My happiness is not at issue," Niabheara replied, already tired of the subject. "Someone has to change things, and I'd rather it be myself than most others I could name. Fancy Judith getting hold of the title, or my father. Imagine another hundred years of Titania."
She let part of the anger go, although she was still at a mild boil just beneath the surface. "You shall see the village. I ne'er thought of it as that bad. I've always done for my vassals, there are plenty of free labourers who've stayed their lands for . . . oh, e'er since Lady Mabhe. But it could be better."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 06:07 PM
Marcello looked properly chastised for less than a moment before he smiled a bit half-heartedly. "Judith as Queen?" he asked. "Judith as Queen, people would come before her with complaints, she'd tell them to fix it their own damn selves."
Then he looked tired. "One of us has to worry about your happiness," he said, sounding altogether sick of having to repeat himself on this subject. And I'd rather it be myself than most others I could name."
He gave her a serious look then. "You do do well by your people," he said. "You think anyone else in your place would be sitting here calculating figures for the harvest? If you...Love, as long as we can make things so that you know when there's a problem, I have no fear you'd not do the right thing."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 06:21 PM
"Judith in any official capacity would be terrifying." The girl rubbed at her torc, looking wryly amused at the very idea. "Mother doesn't need any more power. She's bad enough as she is now. But I think I should speak to Father. It feels odd to call him that."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 06:32 PM
"I think you should, too," Marcello agreed. "I-- I don't want to say he has your best interests at heart, because I'm not sure he does, but I do think you two might have more common ground than you suspected. And it's easy enough for him to lie, but all the same, I think he's more interesting in seeing you become Queen than he is in taking things over for himself. I still just...the Horn bit confuses me, but I'm all about to raise my hand in favor of burying the damn thing the first chance we get. I just wish we had a sure plan for defeating Titania that didn't need it."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 06:50 PM
Niabheara swayed backwards, looking wary. "The Horn stays close at hand. I would rather have it and not need it until such time as Titania is no longer an obstacle. But I do agree, it makes me uneasy to have it too close to hand. It's proved itself capable of rousing confusion solely by being part of the equation."
The girl licked her lips in indecision, with a look back at the door. "No use in putting it off, I suppose. I wish I knew if . . . there's things I would ask him. Family matters. But I don't dare."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 06:55 PM
Marcello reached for both Niabheara's hands, giving her a quick kiss. "He's been wriggling in and out of his cuffs," he said. "Just don't take the horn down there with you. And I promised I would speak to someone about letting his companion free. So you...so you know."
He bit his lip, hesitating for a moment, opened his mouth, and then shut it again. "There's more we need to talk about," he said quietly. "But I think it can wait. I just...don't want you to think I was keeping it from you when we get to it."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 07:01 PM
"The companion--the woman?" Niabheara nodded. "We don't know yet if she's simply travelling with him or if she's working with him, but I should hate to keep her prisoner on mere association." Her frown tightened. "Should we discuss it before I go, then? Is it something I will need to know for him?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 07:07 PM
"He might bring it up?" Marcello replied hesitantly. "I told him about Jochy's father; I knew he knew Jochy, so I thought it would make sense to get his opinion on the matter. But I talked to Jochy's mother before. And I think I've discovered a way to put her back together, so he won't be able to be a threat to you. And your father told me to ask you want the man wanted when he visited with you."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 07:25 PM
Niabheara rubbed her hands together, then cupped her arms around herself. "Three times I have seen him. Once in Ravensdale. I don't remember much about it; I was too young." Her nose wrinkled in a memory of amusement. "He was scolding me o'er the treatment of my pony, as I recall. Needless to say, I didn't take much kindly to it."
The girl stepped back again, looking at the floor, trying to remember anything more. "The other two times were . . . just before you came. Perhaps two moons before, no more. He was . . . " Then she looked ashamed of myself. "He told me I must be prepared to draw blood for the land. I thought at the time he meant . . . something else. Now I am not so certain. And the last time . . . I ordered him out. He infuriated me. He was looking for patterns in Cnoch-na-Niall, in the old closed wing of the castle. He mentioned my father then." Her eyes closed in concentration. "Whether we chose it or not, we were all a part of someone else's g-mes, he said."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 07:30 PM
Marcello sighed. "He was right on that count, or maybe both counts, even if--" he shrugged. "There are some sources that make any news ill. Your father seemed more concerned that he was giving you advice in order to lead you toward what we wanted, but..." he shook his head. "I am going to handle this," he promised. "So that it is one less thing for you to worry about. You'll come right back, after you speak to Neely?"
Then he gave her a wry look. "I can't imagine anyone having anything to scold you for over the way you treat your ponies."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd May 4 2008, 07:33 PM
"I will," she promised. "Only . . . if there's anything I can do . . . I want to help you. There's no need to handle it alone."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 4 2008, 07:36 PM
The Italian smiled slightly. "If there is, I'll tell you straightaway," he promised. "For now, I'm just overcautious about you being anywhere near either of them.
Powered by Invision Power Board (http://www.invisionboard.com
© Invision Power Services (http://www.invisionpower.com