The Secret Diamond Sisters

By: Michelle Madow

Peyton caught sight of a sign saying Main Elevators, but Bernard continued past it.

“I thought we were going to the condo?” she asked.

“Yes.” He didn’t look at her as he continued on. “There are separate elevators for those living on the top ten floors. Follow me.”

Special elevators. Top ten floors. Peyton felt farther away from home than ever. Everyone walking around the hotel was dressed up like they were headed somewhere special—even the bathing suit cover-ups people wore looked designer—and Peyton had never felt more out of place. She wasn’t going to change for anyone, though, so she would have to act like she didn’t notice. She never let not fitting in bother her at home, and that wasn’t going to be different now. Instead, she would see it as standing out. The thought gave her a rush of empowerment.

Once inside the elevator, Bernard stuck a shiny gold key card into a slot above the buttons and pushed Floor 75—the highest one. No wonder they needed separate elevators. They would have to constantly stop for people to get off and on otherwise.

“Here are your keys,” Bernard told them, pulling identical cards out of his pocket and handing them out. Diamond Residences was printed on them in the same swirling font Peyton had seen at the top of the building. She mumbled, “Thanks,” and shoved hers into the back pocket of her shorts.

When they reached floor 75, the elevator doors opened, and Bernard motioned them to exit before him. This hallway had thick ruby carpeting, and the paneled walls were topaz and white. Crystal chandeliers hung from above, and classical music played from invisible speakers, providing a calm atmosphere very different from the excitement below.

Bernard led the way, and Peyton and her sisters followed. “As you can see, there’s an exclusive gym here for the use of everyone living in the penthouses,” he told them, motioning to the right. “Inside are the highest-quality machines available. We also have outstanding trainers on staff who will happily work with you personally, and group fitness classes that take place in the main gym downstairs.”

Peyton looked through the glass windows that separated the hall from the gym. She never went to the gym at home. Savannah went enough for both of them, especially during sports season. Inside on an elliptical cross-trainer was a girl with straight hair so dark it was almost black. She looked around Peyton’s or Courtney’s age. Her oval-shaped face, tanned skin and cat-shaped eyes made her look like a snobby movie star. Next to her was a tall tanned guy with brown hair and dark eyes. He was cute. More than cute—he was way hotter than her own boyfriend of the month, Mike.

The thought of Mike reminded Peyton of the phone call she would have to make in the next few days to break up with him. He had to know it was coming. It was no secret that Peyton never stayed with a guy for longer than a few months, and she didn’t want to do the long-distance thing.

Trusting a guy in a different city only meant trouble.

Trying not to think about Mike, Peyton gave the guy working out a seductive smile. He either didn’t see her, or he ignored her, instead smiling at Savannah. Jerk. Savannah wrapped her arms around herself and lowered her eyes, her cheeks turning pink.

Apparently he wasn’t into Peyton’s look. Not like it bothered Peyton. There were other guys out there.

Then the dark-haired girl turned to the guy, said something to him, and laughed.

Peyton shook her head and kept walking. She had no interest in hanging out with judgmental bitches. And yes, she was referring to both the girl and the guy.

Bernard led them to the end of the hallway and stopped at a golden double-door entrance to insert the key card into the slot. “Welcome to your new home,” he said, pushing the door open and waving them inside.

chapter 4:

Madison Lockhart didn’t like the Diamond sisters already.

At least, she assumed they were the girls who had just passed by the gym. It wasn’t every day that three girls who looked alike walked around the top floor. They had to be Adrian Diamond’s daughters.

And her parents wanted her to be friends with them. So not happening. One of them looked like a total freak who had come straight off a Cirque du Soleil stage, with blue streaks in her hair, goth bracelets up her arm and so much black eyeliner that she could be on the set of Cleopatra. The petite one looked like she was trying to be fashionable but was failing miserably, and the tallest one looked like she had just rolled out of bed.

“Two of them are hot,” Damien said from the elliptical next to her.

Madison tried not to show her irritation. “I didn’t know you were into blondes,” she said smoothly.

“You’re right. I do prefer brunettes,” Damien said with a sly grin. “But seeing as my favorite brunette always has her sights elsewhere, I’ve gotta have my fun, too.”

“And you think those girls look fun?” Madison rolled her eyes. “Whatever.”

Damien smirked. “Are you...jealous?”

“No.” Jealous because Damien thought those girls were hot? Yeah, right. “But the one with the blue streaks seemed like she liked you. Maybe you should go for her.”

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