The Intern Volume One

By: Brooke Cumberland

“Hello, may I help you?” She looks up at me bored.

“Hi, I’m Casey West. I’m here for an intern interview.”

“Welcome, Miss West. Mr. Leighton and his colleagues are a few minutes behind. Please take a seat, and they’ll be with you shortly.”

I nod. “Thank you.”

I hold the manila envelope in my lap as I take a seat. It contains my ‘college transcripts’ along with a lengthy essay on why I deserve this unpaid internship.

I forged all of it, of course. It wasn’t hard at all, actually. I used all of Casey’s college scripts and found her school schedule to look up her professor’s names. A few phone calls and I had my fake transcripts and recommendation letters. Add in Casey’s student ID, and I was now a makeshift college student.

I made sure to do extensive research on this company. It’s one of the largest investigative criminal reporting companies in the Midwest. They do a little of everything, but the part I’m interested in is the criminal cases. They hold files to every unsolved murder in Nebraska, which is exactly my reason for being here in the first place.

“Miss West? They’re ready for you now.”

I stand up and smooth my skirt. I thank the receptionist as I walk down the short hall to a boardroom.

The internship process is extensive due to all the private information held here. I had to go through an extensive questionnaire online as well as a phone pre-interview, but I’m prepared. I’m going to nail this interview head on.

One thing my dad always said about me was that I was a real charmer. I’ve had the ability to manipulate and deceive people for as long as I could remember, and I fully intend to use that to my advantage. Using charm and seduction—my two secret weapons—I confidently walk in.

“Welcome, please take a seat.”

Three men sit in a row behind a long cherry table. They all have files lying on the table and shuffle through them as I make my way to the chair.

“Hello, gentlemen.” I lean over and urge my hand in front of them, quickly shaking the first two men’s hands. I shift my body, so I’m angled toward the last one whom I assume is Mr. Leighton from the pictures I found.

Oh my god. He’s intimidatingly stunning. I try not to stare, but it’s impossible not to when I’m trying to put on a show of confidence.

He hesitates, but grabs my hand anyway and shakes it. It sends a chill down my body, and I immediately jerk back.

I smile as I slowly sit down and set my folder on top of the table.

“You are Miss Casey West, correct?” The one in the middle asks.

“Yes, sir.” I remind myself to keep eye contact while controlling my facial expressions.

“Excellent. Well, welcome. I’m Paul Landers, and this is my colleague, Logan Sommers, and this here is Mr. Bentley Leighton.”

I glance at each of them, but my eyes halt on Mr. Leighton. As I get a better look at him, I swallow as I take in his face, mouth, and biceps. Little butterflies appear in my stomach as his eyes make contact with mine.

Paul and Logan look like typical businessmen. They’re the most engaged, whereas Mr. Leighton looks bored and irritated that he’s been called into these interviews in the first place. He shifts uneasily as our eyes make contact.

He also doesn’t look the part. Where Paul and Logan wear the clean-cut look—short slicked hair and clean-shaven face—Bentley looks straight out of a motorcycle ad. He has shaggy dark blonde hair that has a little curl to it and a week’s worth of trimmed facial hair. It’s actually a good look for him, but it definitely is not what I expected a future CEO to look like.

“It’s a pleasure,” I say as I make sure to keep my smile seductive. It’s a talent I nailed down years ago.

“Can you tell us what you know about Leighton Enterprises? And why you think you’d benefit from the intern program here?” Paul asks right away with a pen ready to start taking notes on everything I say.

I clear my throat and sit up taller. “I know all the basic information that is on your website, and honestly, it’s just the tip of what this company is really about.” I notice all three are now staring intently at me. “What is not on your website is that Leighton Enterprises is one of the largest charitable contributors in the Midwest. You give the most to foundations that support Amber Alerts, Missing Children Programs, and unresolved cold cases to name just a few. You truly believe in the justice of finding missing persons, and giving justice to the families of the victims. Besides your charitable contributions, you also hold the highest record in the country for reporting the most open cases from over ten years ago. And I think I can benefit from all of that.”

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