"I am so proud of you," Torin was close to tears as he held the shoulders of the 18 year old. "You've grown so much."
Cress was sure she would've burst into tears if not for the loud snort of her 21 year old brother.
"She's hasn't grown since she was 9," Kai said as Cress narrowed her eyes at the boy.
"Can you just let me have a moment?" Cress sighed. "Just one moment, you freaking dork."
Kai shot the girl a cheeky grin as Torin shook his head with displeasure.
"As I was saying," Torin turned away from the older Huáng child. "You are going to have a fantastic time at Lunar University. You already are ahead of your class, finishing almost all of your generals during high school. You are going to do great."
Kai rolled his eyes as his adoptive sister's eyes began to mist over but his heart was softened at the sight. Even if he was a pain in the butt, he still cared for the small girl more than anything.
"And besides," Torin nodded to Kai. "Kai is in the exact same complex."
"Yes, and speaking of that," Kai reached around the older man. "We really gotta get going. Otherwise, we won't make it there til after dinner."
"Right," Torin cleared his throat as he wrapped the two Huáng children into a quick hug, surprising both of them. "You better get going then. And, Kai," Torin raised an eyebrow. "Remember your father wants you on the Skype call tonight."
"Right." Kai nodded firmly as he grabbed the young blonde's hand. "8 o'clock. I will be sure to be on."
Torin nodded as Cress threw herself at the old man again.
"I'm going to miss you Torin!" The girl's throat began to tighten as she hugged her childhood mentor. "I promise to visit every other weekend!"
Torin simply laughed as Kai yanked on his sister's collar.
"You won't have a reason to visit if we don't get going."
"Goodbye Crescent Moon, Kaito." Torin gave a short nod to the two as Kai yanked his sister out the front door of the Huáng mansion.
"Let's go, Cress," Kai rolled his eyes. "I gotta get both of us unpacked before that meeting and it's a three hour drive."
Cress shot her brother a sheepish smile as she wiped her eyes.
"Right, I'm sorry Kai."
Kai glanced over at the small girl before breaking out in a wide grin. "It's okay, you can make it up to me by letting me DJ."
Cress's face pinched up as she gagged at the thought.
"You listen to old man music. As if!" Cress's face broke out in a wide grin as she raced to the Kai's sleek black BMW. Most of everything, including Cress's silver Mini Cooper, were waiting at their respective homes. The only things that filled the car were Cress's laptop bag and desktop sets and Kai's own laptop, briefcase, and a box of files she was sure he was expected to read before the meeting tonight.
"Frank Sinatra is a classic!" Kai yelled causing the young girl to laugh.
"I don't know how you haven't managed not to get beat up."
"It's because of my rugged good looks."
Cress laughed again.
"How about we go to your condo first?" Cress stated as she played with her hair. "How about I help you get unpacked and then maybe I can just stay with you and-"
"Or," Kai sighed as he glanced at the girl. "You can just trust that your roommates are going to love you."
When Cress wasn't fighting Kai for control of the aux cord, she had spent the better portion of the trip researching her new roommates via her tablet.
There was Scarlet Benoit. A 20 year old girl who was born in Rieux, France, a small town. There she worked on the Benoit farm with her grandmother until she was 18. Then, she flew out of the country to attend Lunar University in New York City. She was double majoring in Agricultural Studies and Culinary Arts with a minor in business and currently spoke both French and English fluently. If that wasn't intimidating enough, the girl was had curves that Cress would kill for and hair that was the color of passion.
If it was just her, Cress was sure she could handle the pressure of being her roommate. But then there was Iko.
Iko Anzhuo, 19, was a force of her own. It was easy to find out nearly everything Cress could ever wish to know. After typing the first two letters of her name, her full name popped up on the browser. The girl had a digital footprint the size of a dinosaur. Iko basically had her own private army-the number of followers in the thousands on both Twitter and Tumblr not to mention an even larger and still growing fanbase on Youtube. She was sassy, spunky, and often defined as a "firework" by her followers. The girl's Instagram was full of Vogue-worthy snapshots of her posing in her latest vintage fix or of her latest makeup creations. Not to mention the girl dominated the stage, as the Lunar Chronicle stated. As a freshman the girl had already manage to sweep up the spotlight. Iko was getting a BS in Theatre as well as a minor in Fashion Merchandising. It was clear to tell that living with Iko would never be dull.
That was two of her three roommates. Both were intense and talented and passionate about what they were doing.
Not to mention, they are both goddesses, Cress thought with a sigh.
Last, but not least, there was Cinder Linh.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It irritated Cress to no end, seeing as both her other roommates came up within seconds. But it was as if Cinder had never touched social media. Which is very unlikely, considering today's day and age.
There were two pictures of Cinder, both on Iko's instagram, and both were close ups of Iko's face pressed tightly to the face of an Asian girl with golden eyes, pink lips, and wild brown hair. The girl's face possessed no makeup and had several streaks of dirt or grease streaked across. Which was a sharp contrast to the dazzling makeup Iko had on on a regular basis. After that, Cress was forced to hack into the school files to see anything else. And those were pretty bland as well. She was going into Mechanical Engineering, which considering the grease or dirt as well as her test scores, made complete sense. The girl was also the adoptive daughter of Andri and Garan Linh. And was apparently fluent in Chinese as well. But, other than that, there was absolutely nothing on her third roommate.
Which made Cress the most anxious. At least on the other two she could prepare herself by familiarizing herself with the latest gossip and makeup trends as well as the best was to bake creme brulee. But with Cinder she had no clue. Did she discuss physics with her or maybe she was like Iko and liked fashion and celebrity gossip? Or maybe she liked to cook like Scarlet? Or was she into motorcycles and cars or maybe-
"Cress," Kai's voice shook her out of her rambles as his hand reached over and found hers. "You are going to do great. Everyone is going to love you."
"How do you know that?" Cress nearly cried. "How could you possibly know that?"
"Everyone loves you, Cress."
"Not everyone." The thought brought more panic and the girl winced at the thought of her old high school tormentors. Kai winced as well and guilt filled his eyes.
It wasn't Kai's fault, Cress would never blame him for the two years of torment she faced when her older brother left. He was three years her senior. He was a senior when she was a freshman. And, everyone loved Kai...Cress was a different story. She had skipped a grade when she was younger and well, when you are as small and shy as she was, it was hard to make friends. Not to mention that girls didn't like the fact her name or the fact she was the younger sister to Kaito.
"Cress, it will be different." Kai squeezed her hand as he pulled into the complex. A sign flashed "Commonwealth Housing" as they drove by.
"How do you know?" Cress repeated.
"I'm stuck in school another 4 years, I will be here the entire time you are. Plus," Kai parked the car. "You are Cress Moon Darnel Huáng, you are a superstar."
Superstar. I am a superstar, a model awaiting to walk across the runaway. I can do this.
Cress nodded, squeezing her brother's hand before jumping out of the car. "You're right!"
"Of course I'm right!" Kai said he got out ."I'm your older brother. And older brothers are-"
"Always right," Cress rolled her eyes, heading towards the main building to check in. "You dork."
After the quick check-in where both learned that all their roommates had arrived already, Cress was force to deal with her brother's ridiculous advice on the route back to the car to retrieve her stuff.
"And you should always alert your roommates if you have a boy over. Not that you will actually have to do that, because you won't be dating anyone ever." Kai rambled as he popped the trunk.
Cress rolled her eyes as she reached for her laptop bag. "You are so full of it."
"So full of wisdom," Kai said as he grabbed her desktop computer in one hand and hefted the box that contained the two screens with the others. Cress scoffed and waited till both were snug under Kai's arms before closing the trunk and heading towards condo number 4.
"Are you sure we can't-"
"Positive." Kai said as he basically skipped up the concrete steps to the door.
"Careful!" Cress snapped as her brother nearly lost the box of monitors. "Those are top of the line!"
"Calm down, sis," Kai rolled his eyes. "It's all going to be okay. Remember, you're a superstar."
"I'm a superstar," Cress whispered as she jammed the key into the lock. "I'm a superstar about to meet my adoring fans."
"That's the spirit!" Kai cheered as Cress pushed open the door...
And nearly dropped her laptop bag.
Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter! Please review if you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, until next time.