Alrighty...because no one responded (except @Timothy M., thank you) to my previous query, everyone forced me to do MATH. 😱
According the numbers spread across four different websites, Crossing the Moon has the most:
- views per chapter
- likes/kudos/reactions per chapter
- comments per chapter
Followed by the KIAO/Cuddlefish series. If anyone's curious about the numbers, they're as follows:
Crossing the Moon
Average view per chapter: 2679
Average comments per chapter: 16
Average likes per chapter: 31
Average other reactions per chapter: 24
KIAO & Cuddlefish
Average view per chapter: 2083
Average comments per chapter: 7
Average likes per chapter: 15
Average other reactions per chapter: 11
Average view per chapter: 1990
Average comments per chapter: 9
Average likes per chapter: 9
Average other reactions per chapter: 9
Though I did track each story down individually, I averaged out the numbers for KIAO and Cuddlefish together as well as the Lust Series. The singular versions still made no difference in the end result. Crossing the Moon is still the most popular of our collaborations, according to the numbers.
I'll try to draw more Lust Series sketches on the side, @Timothy M.!
If I manage to get this ball rolling, I'll let everyone know where and when I start posting the webcomic.
First you confuse me, then you make me hungry, then you make me think of people that act the same way as bees with beer...then you make me wonder what happened to the witch and if bugs even know what naked means. Either way, I loved it.
"Which Series Should Thirdly (and Robin if she ever has free time again) Attempt to Webcomic-ize?"
A. Kidnapping is Always an Option (includes Cuddlefish)
B. Lust and Chastity (includes Lust and Propriety)
C. Crossing the Moon (includes stories that haven't happened yet)
(No, "All of the above" is not a viable answer right now; it's what has me polling in the first place)
@Timothy M. Thanks for the vote. Come on, everyone, no fear.
Nestor’s POV: “You look like you have the weight of the whole world on your shoulders.” I was actually startled as the sound of my husband’s voice cut through my wandering thoughts and brought me back to the present, where I was seated at a desk staring at a computer screen with the address to where Ashur was being held. Alrico’s voice was gentle and full of concern, and yet it carried so much power. He was more than my light, he was a relentless flame that seemed determined to turn my past failures into ashes. “That’s because it’s exactly what it feels like,” I responded. “The weight of the whole world.” I always trusted him with the truth. When he first took an interest in me, I was still struggling with controlling my impulses and getting a better handle on my emotions. Though I had tried to push him away by telling him about my past, it had the opposite effect. The honesty between us was what helped to solidify our relationship. “I’ve told you about my years at high school,” I prompted. “I’ve told you what Ashur was like. A part of me cared about him, possibly even loved him, but I was just a tool to him. Just like everyone else.” I continued as Alrico wrapped his arms around my shoulders from behind in a hug. “He found enjoyment in manipulating others into doing whatever he wanted. And, I have to admit that a part of me is scared that he’ll figure out why I’m really there too soon…” “Even if he does figure it out, the important thing is that you’d have tried,” my mate pointed out. “Remember how good you said you felt when you were finally able to apologize to Avion and he accepted it?” He added. “Letting go of that guilt was good for you. I don’t want you to be tortured by guilt again. So, just try and then let the chips fall where they may. Remember that you’re not to blame for Ashur’s possible lack of cooperation.” A smirk tugged the corner of my lips. “Will I be rewarded for my efforts, I wonder?” I teased. “With double the dessert,” Alrico whispered heatedly into my ear. The insinuation caused a shiver to roll down my spine. I could think of no better motivation than that. When my gaze once again fell on the prison location, it was with a glint of determination. :: When I walked into the reception area, I was given once-overs by a few of the women I passed. But, the ring on my left finger usually kept any touches at bay. I was instructed to place all of my personal belongings, including my cellphone into a small locker before being checked in. I was printed a visiting badge and made my way through a metal detector. I was told that Ashur was not allowed in the regular visiting area and I was only allowed to visit him through a non-contact box. That was actually a relief. Ashur and I were not going to be able to physically see one another, just talk. My mere body language and the look in my eyes could have given away what I was really there for. Since it was only our voices, I just had to concentrate on keeping my voice leveled. I took a few calming breaths as they brought Ashur over to the box. “Nes?” Ashur asked hesitantly. “Ash,” I responded. During high school, Ashur did most of the talking. I had to take care not to get too talkative. “I can hardly believe it,” Ashur responded, sounding relieved. “When they told me it was you, I thought I might have been hearing things.” “Never imagined we’d meet again under these circumstances,” I admitted. The statement was true. “Yeah, these shitty-ass circumstances,” Ashur scoffed. “Have you heard about how I got here?” “Not all the details,” I replied as I tried to remember to keep my responses short. I heard him shifting as if he was leaning forward to tell me a secret. A frown formed on my face as I recalled him doing the same in the past many times. “I found our favorite little albino yapper,” he rumbled like a feline. I could almost imagine the smirk on his face. “He’s an Omega. Can you imagine? How much fun we would have had if one of us laid claim to him when he turned eighteen.” I took in a sharp breath of air as my hands balled up into fists. Though I had denied it when we were in high school, it was unmistakable just what kind of “fun” Ashur wanted to have with the yorkie. Once again, I was disgusted with how I had allowed myself to be led around by someone like him. “I know, right?” Ashur continued, having taken my sharp breath for surprise. “An Omega.” His tone of voice shifted as it began to drip with anger. “But, I was beaten to the chase by Lexus Streicher. It’s his fault I’m here. Him and a bunch of other pussies.” “Lexus and others?” I asked. “Yeah, but don’t think I let them get away with it,” Ashur drawled. “A few subordinates owed me and I had them pay me back through a few scares.” “Subordinates?” “No one you know,” the prisoner pointed out. “Just a few cocksuckers I caught fucking with professors on campus. Malcom and Jacob.” “You sure I don’t know them?” I prompted. I doubted that I would get afar with such common first names. I needed Ashur to divulge just a little more. “Well, I mean Jacob’s a Farley and Malcom’s a Brixton,” Ashur elaborated. “But they’re nothing like their older brothers were. Total dungjacks.” “They paid you back?” I questioned, once again trying not to convey any kind of emotion through my tone of voice. And that was saying a lot, as I couldn’t have been more relieved to have last names to go with the first names of Ashur’s accomplices. The Farleys and Brixtons were in for a rude awakening. “They were the only ones with deep enough pockets to hire the Raboche. My cousin was right, they really do exist. And, from what I’ve heard, they did quite the number on the yapper…” :: As stressful as it felt to try to act like I did in the past so that I could get information out of Ashur, it was even more stressful to report everything that he told me. That particular prison recorded all visits with audio, so I also had digital proof to back up the report. Alrico was so proud of me, I had a feeling I would get a homemade lunch every day for at least a week, double dessert and all. END
That could have gone a few different ways. Avion was never going to see Nestor’s perspective of his facing Ashur. But, Nestor did what he set out to do, which led to the arrest of at least some of the criminals (Morgan will definitely be going after the rest, though there's no guarantee he'll catch them all, as he's still a fledgling in his field). I thought of just showing the time skip, but then no questions would have been answered. The summary was the best I could do without dropping the story entirely given my current life difficulties. Edit: ...and yet I still wrote Nestor's encounter as a one-shot.
Delays were due to the final semester of my Bachelors, stress, and an odd fit of depression which wasn't exactly out of "nowhere" as it built up, but it still blind-sighted me all the same, as I don't usually get depressed to the point of it crippling me (sad or upset, but not for any span longer than a few minutes...but what I had was not that). You know it will. When, indeed...
Lexus and I were seated in two chairs across a desk in Giles's study. The man in question seemed to have a poker face on as his intimidating yellow eyes shifted from one face to another. The silence in the room had extended for several minutes. But, Lex and I had conversed mentally back and forth the entire time. :: “You sure you have no idea what he wants us for?” “I could only make guesses…” “He hasn’t said a thing in at least five minutes.” "It's one of his parenting tactics. Whenever I messed up as a kid, my anxiety while waiting for him to talk was always more of a punishment than anything he said." “Really? My mom would just ground me from everything I liked…no desserts, no games. In retrospect, it didn’t work as well as it should have over the years with how many fights I kept sparking up…” :: “Lexus,” Giles spoke aloud, startling me from our shared inner thoughts. “Your mate seems to be a handful. I urge you to order him to remain by your side until you can order him to remain indoors in your new home.” He wanted me to stick to Lexus like glue? What next? One of those child leashes? “What?” Lexus questioned with a frown. “And deprive him of the rest of his college education?” “No one’s gonna keep me from getting my degree,” I grumbled. “If you care so much about him, you’ll do what must be done for his safety,” Giles responded. “Sir, you may have always had a controlling nature,” I countered. “But, Lexus isn’t like that-” “Listen, Omega," the aged Alsatian growled, cutting me off. "Whether I like it or not, you have become indispensable to my son," Giles stated as he motioned towards Lex. "I never want to see my son broken again, and he won’t ever fully recover if these kinds of things keep happening and you’re one day killed in the process.” I felt like he had pelted me in the face with a snowball and physically ended up jerking back. My first instinct was to bark back with something clever, but as I gazed over at Lexus, I saw something that kept my mouth shut. The blue eyes I liked so much had a touch of tenseness, pain, and fear. It was that pain along with the stray thoughts he subconsciously broadcasted that made my heart clench. He’s hurt, but alive. He’s alive, and that’s all that matters. He’ll be fine...we’ll be more careful from now on. That was when I realized that Lexus had been hiding his frantic feelings from me. When he had found out I was gone, he had just about lost it. His father saw him at his worst, Giles had been a first-hand witness. “Lex…” I whispered as I reached out to place my good hand on his arm. “I wasn’t joking about that therapy.” When the blue eyes turned their gazes to me, they held a touch of strength and determination. But, most importantly, they held a warmth that seemed to comfort me from the inside. I could only hope that he’d trust me with his insecurities more in the future. “Neither was I, Avi,” he responded. “I’ll make some appointments for us at your earliest convenience.” “Therapy alone isn’t going to keep your mate safe!” Giles interjected. “As an Alpha, it’s your duty to keep him away from any dangerous situations.” “You’re right,” Lexus agreed. “Self-defense courses for different scenarios wouldn’t hurt. I could use a few of them myself.” I couldn't help the smirk that tugged on the corner of my lips. Lexus didn't need much help to fend off any attackers. But, I still liked the idea of him learning side by side with me. As much as sticking by his side 24/7 wasn't reasonable; I really did want to spend more time with him in general. “Why do you insist on ignoring your instincts as an Alpha?” Giles argued as he suddenly stood up in a huff. “Alpha Commands have been used for centuries. You won’t be able to keep them bottled up inside forever!” “You’re right,” Lexus once again agreed. “I won’t be able to keep from using an Alpha Command. It’s instinct.” From the corner of my eye, I could see the smug expression that formed on Giles’s face in response to Lex’s words. As much as I tried, I couldn’t quite read my mate’s eyes. Just where was he going with this? “Avion Dominic Arter…” The Alpha Command hit me hard in the gut. Lexus hadn’t even fully completed it, but I felt the force of it constricting around me heavily like a cocoon. In spite of the weight, I still trusted him not to order me to do anything stupid. “As your mate and Alpha, I declare that you have the choice as to whether or not to obey ANY of my commands for the rest of our lives!” My mind reeled. The cocoon that nearly suffocated me a moment before seemed to release like a magnificent cape fluttering along behind me. I felt like some kind of snow queen from an animated movie…as if Lexus was a king and he had somehow named me regent. A freedom that I couldn’t quite explain filled me right up. Giles slumped back down onto his desk chair with a groan as he rubbed at his temples. "You will surely regret doing that, my son,” he sighed. "I'll make sure that he won't," I responded with a grin, unable to hide my joy. :::::::: In the weeks that followed, there were no other disturbing events. Lexus, Morgan and I did go to therapy sessions once a week. Sometimes individually and sometimes as a group. My mate also signed us up for self-defense classes, though I was only able to observe for the first few weeks due to my arm. Morgan and Sabine were officially mates, as was made evident by Morgan’s family emblem on her shoulder. My arm eventually healed up completely, and I was ever so grateful that it wasn’t my dominant one. If it had been my dominant arm, I wouldn’t have been able to survive the onslaught of college assignments we were given. Once again, I considered myself lucky. To provide Morgan and Sabine some privacy, I moved out of the apartment, and she moved in with him. Lexus couldn't have been happier to have me join him. In a blur of final exams, one semester ended and another began. During lunch, we were finally all finally able to gather together. Derrick and I developed a closer friendship, and Morgan didn't hesitate to welcome him into the fold. The three of us shared a history class in the new semester, and we found that the three of us were excellent study buddies. Nestor was true to his promise of getting information out of Ashur. Morgan had urged him to give a report on everything that the twisted young man had told him. Though the authorities were not able to capture them all, they managed to uncover some of the criminals that had held us for ransom. When Morgan and I were called in to identify them, we both were easily able to recognize the commander by his heterochromatic eyes and height. We were both able to rest well that night. The more that my arm healed, the more I was able to take part in the self-defense classes with Lexus. Those lessons usually ended up with the two of us showering together in his apartment afterward, something that I always took full advantage of. Just as we learned more and more about one another’s bodies, our minds naturally opened up more and more to each other’s thoughts. Our developing relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing. Whenever we were both stressed out at the same time, whether over classes or due to family, we argued. There were times when we couldn’t make our schedules line up and the time apart put a strain on our bond. But those moments weren’t commonplace, because whenever only one of us was feeling pressure and stress, the other was there for support. In that manner, a semester became a quarter. A quarter became a year. Lexus, Derrick, and Deziray graduated first. And the next thing we knew, Morgan, Sabine, and I followed. :::::::: “So, how did it go?” I could easily note the slight tone of nervousness in my mate’s voice. He was clearly more anxious than I was but a few moments before. I shook my head at this thought, which almost sent Lexus into a panic. "Calm down, Lex," I urged him as I took hold of his face in both my hands for him to focus on my eyes. I hadn't grown any taller over the years, but my body was a lot stronger than in the past. "It's a done deal. I take over from Harman in two weeks." The smile that formed on Lex's face was so bright; it was almost blinding. The taller man eagerly leaned down to give me a congratulatory kiss, and I held him in place with a hand to the back of his head so that I could fully exploit it. The press of his full lips against mine, though a familiarity by then, was always a welcome sensation. The taste of him was, as well…of a dark chocolate that was addictively bittersweet. When I felt his arms tugging me closer, I knew that I had well and truly distracted him from the fact that we were still on the school grounds. I couldn’t help but feel grateful that there were no students on the high school campus so late in the afternoon. Seeing their teachers making out in the hallway would have surely been considered gross to them. I smiled at my Alpha. “I guess this means we get to have lunch together again,” I pointed out. “Right, Mr. Streicher, Drama scholar in classroom G 102?” “I’m looking forward to it, Mr. Arter, History scholar in classroom E 203,” he responded without hesitation. “Wait, how did you know I was assigned to E 203?” I questioned. Lexus shrugged. “I asked one of the Sophomores where his history classroom was last year.” “Isn’t that cheating?” I mentally teased. "Why, yes. Yes, it is." Lexus sent back. The sounds of barking, growling, and a yelp drew our attention elsewhere. The two of us immediately ran towards the source. A tense Pomeranian growled menacingly at a limping Border Collie. “Just what is going on here?” Lexus asked. “Change back, both of you.” He Alpha Commanded. I couldn’t help but feel that it was the kind of situation that the Alpha Command was actually useful for; to break up fights and to settle situations. The Pomeranian was a young girl with long, light brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. The Border Collie was a taller girl with a curly, black bob and bangs. She cradled her forearm to her chest. “She bit me, Mr. Streicher!” the Border Collie cried out. “Yeah Teach, but she Alpha Commanded me not to perform my part in the play!” the Pomeranian countered. “Is that true, Nadia?” Lex questioned. The dark-haired girl’s gaze fell to the floor. “It’s not for the reason she thinks!” Nadia explained. “I heard some of the other girls talking about setting up an “accident” for Saydee during the play to embarrass her in front of the whole school!” She finally lifted her brown eyes to look at Saydee. “I just didn’t want you to get hurt.” Saydee straightened her back as she regarded the taller girl before her. Her green eyes darted to Nadia, us, and back. “Wh-why didn’t you just say that, then?” She demanded as she stepped towards her and grabbed Nadia’s arm. “Lemme take a look at that. I didn’t bite you too hard, did I?” “No…” Nadia trailed off, blushing at the contact. “It doesn’t even hurt anymore.” Lexus let out a sigh beside me, rubbing at his temples. “Then Nadia, if you would please release Saydee from the command? Then, what do you plan to do; do you want to report Saydee for biting you?” “What? No!” Nadia immediately responded. “It was all my fault. Saydee, I release you from my command.” “Can you name the students that wanted to sabotage Saydee?” I asked her. Nadia nodded. “Maddy and Lee,” she answered. “I’m going to have a talk with those two,” Lexus decided. “Come on, let’s take you to the nurse’s office. She’s probably gone home by now, but I know where she keeps the First Aid kit.” “I’m coming, too!” Saydee announced. “Avi, why don’t you head home first?” Lexus suggested. “I’ll catch up with you later.” "Got it," I responded after I reached over to kiss him on the cheek. As I headed towards the parking lot, I couldn’t help but smile at Saydee’s distant words. “Hey, Teach? Was that your mate? He’s hot!” The irony of the younger generations approving of the way I looked didn’t slip past me. I opened an umbrella as I stepped out into the sun. Though I was still fond of hooded jackets and sweaters, I preferred to wear them in the comfort of our home. I couldn’t help but feel that I used the hoods to hide my face more than to protect it from the sun’s rays in the past. The therapy sessions I had gone to helped me realize as much. My car had tinted windows all the way around. The model was neither new nor decrepit, but it was a graduation gift from my parents. I couldn't have been more grateful not to have to share a car anymore since I felt bad that Lex had to be the one to drive us everywhere. I was just about to start the car and head to our shared home when my phone rang. When I read the name Deziray, I immediately answered. “Hey, what’s up?” I asked. “We have some big news. I’m inviting everyone to our apartment for dinner. Bring Lex!” she responded. “Alright,” I replied, wondering what the news could be. I sent Lexus a quick text to meet me over at Derrick and Dez’s place and headed that way. When I arrived, Morgan and Sabine were already there. Derrick had opened the door for me. “There he is! The man of the hour,” he greeted as he clapped a hand on my shoulder. "What's going on?" I asked the Doberman. "We'll tell you when Lex catches up, and we're all here," Deziray called from the kitchen. About thirty minutes later, all six of us were seated around a table eating take-out and conversing. When we were all down to our chosen beverages, Derrick stood up. “Dez and I are finally in a fairly settled state with our jobs and the apartment…” he began. “So, we’ve decided to get married. And, on that note, we’d like Avion to be my best man.” “Wait, me?” I asked. “Not Lex?” I was genuinely caught by surprise. Lexus had always been Derrick’s closest friend, and I was definitely going to be Morgan’s best man whenever he tied the knot with Sabine. “Yeah, you,” Derrick responded with a snort. “The title of best man goes to my closest friend, right? You’re it. It’s not like I want to offend Lexus and Morgan, but you’ve helped me the most over the years and have more than earned the title.” A part of me couldn't have been more stunned. What Derrick said was true. I had helped them find a decent-sized apartment for them. When the Doberman was ready to take over his father's business, I had my dad help his dad with the necessary paperwork and the hiring of new hands. Though it was true that we had grown closer over the years, I never thought that I would "out-stage" Lexus as Derrick's closest friend. “You didn’t out-stage anyone,” Lexus countered as his voice easily made its way into my thoughts. "Sometimes we just grow closer to others than anticipated. I don’t mind at all.” “You mean it? You’re not upset?” I asked back. “It’s less work for me. I get to just show up for the show,” my mate teased. “Well then, if that’s the case,” I said aloud. “Then, I accept.” “It’ll be good practice for when you’re the best man at my future wedding,” Morgan responded. “Says the man who hasn’t even asked me yet,” Sabine pointed out as she gently poked Morgan on the side. “But, I thought you wouldn’t mind if Avion’s the best man,” Morgan replied. “Not about that,” Sabine huffed. “Did you mean about this then?” Morgan said as he pulled out a jewelry box with a ring nested inside and slid off his chair to kneel. Sabine, as well as everyone else in the room, became silent. I shot a glance to Derrick and Deziray, who both had sly expressions on their faces. I began to realize the other reason I had been asked to be the best man. “Sabine, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” Morgan asked softly. "Are you freaking kidding me?" Sabine sobbed. Her happy tears drew forth similar feelings to everyone. "Yes, you silly man. Of course, I will!" After Morgan slid the ring on her finger, the two of them kissed and embraced. Morgan began to voice what I had begun to suspect. “When Derrick and Deziray talked to me about their plans for a wedding, I realized that there was nothing stopping me from asking you to marry me,” he explained. “Would you mind it if we had a double wedding with them? We share the same friends and ideas...why not the costs, too?” Sabine began to laugh and wipe at her tears. “Yeah, I’d like that,” she admitted. “Wait, is that why you didn’t ask me to be the maid of honor?” She asked as she rounded on Deziray. “Who said you can’t still be my maid of honor and I yours?” Deziray countered. “We’ll just stand by each other during each other’s vows.” “We’re getting married!” Sabine cried out in excitement as she hugged Deziray tightly. “And we’re each other’s maid of honor. I love it!” “I knew you would,” Deziray confessed. “So, I’m really the best man twice?” I questioned. When Morgan and Derrick insisted, I rubbed the back of my neck in embarrassment. Lexus was right when he said that all he had to do was watch the show. I felt a bit nervous when the weight of the responsibility kicked in. I was suddenly in charge of not just one set of wedding rings, but two.