The Intern Volume One

By: Brooke Cumberland

Paul and Logan’s jaws drop as Mr. Leighton’s expression remained unchanged. I’m unsure if he’s impressed or pissed off, but I continue smiling as I make eye contact with each of them.

“That’s very impressive,” Logan finally says.

“Thank you. I did an extensive background search, but I’m very fascinated with this line of work.”

“What do you see yourself doing in the future?” Paul asks.

“I’d like to be a journalist. Perhaps a news reporter. I want to dig into open or even seemingly impossible cold cases. I want to make a difference to someone’s family, even if it’s years later. I want to do the unthinkable.”

This earns an eyebrow raise from Mr. Leighton. Well, it’s a start. I’ll get him to warm up to me before I walk out that door.

“Excellent choice,” Paul nods as he writes his notes down.

“What do you think you can offer Leighton Enterprises during your internship?”

“I hope to offer my skills, but mainly, I hope to make your lives easier. I want to be the middleman that helps get you whatever is needed to help you do your job better.” I know I won’t be working on any cases, so I won’t even pretend that’s an option, but I can definitely use the advantage to get my foot in the door. Once I am in, I can do my own digging.

“Sounds very ambitious.” My head jerks to Mr. Leighton, who finally speaks. His voice is low and stern. It takes me by surprise.

I smirk and cross my legs. “I guess you could say that.” I like the attention he’s finally giving me. It makes me feel like I’m cracking him.

“What can you tell us about your college experience thus far? What major are you?” Logan asks as I tear my eyes away from Mr. Leighton.

“I’m a double major in journalism and criminal justice. My plan is to find a career where I can merge both of those since they both fascinate me,” I answer honestly—well, as honest as I can be. I do plan to double major in college when I attend next year.

“You sound very busy,” Mr. Leighton interrupts. “How do you plan to juggle it all?”

I pull my bottom lip in between my teeth just before releasing it and answering. “I’m very skilled at juggling.”

Chapter Two


I WALK OUT with confidence and feel optimistic that I nailed the internship. I had Paul and Logan eating out of the palm of my hand. Mr. Leighton was impressed. I could tell—and feel it, but he didn’t let it show to his colleagues.

While I was researching Leighton Enterprises, I came across many pictures of Mr. Leighton himself. He’s gorgeous on screen, but in person, he’s trip-over-yourself-just-to-lick-him gorgeous. His hair is a shade of light brown—golden, almost—but purposely messy. I could tell his suit fit him just perfect. I imagine his body is rock hard, chiseled to muscular perfection. It was hard to tell with him sitting down, but from his pictures he looked tall—well over six feet. The thing that tripped me up was his age. He’s certainly successful and extremely smart for only being twenty-six.

After doing more research, I learned it’s a family owned company. After the interview, I can successfully assume he’s just getting started, and his family is now forcing him to be a part of the bigger decisions like interviewing and being involved in the mechanical aspects of the corporation. He certainly acts as if he belongs there, yet he acts completely bored and irritated for having to waste an afternoon.

My mother pays little to no attention to my antics anymore. After dad died, and the insurance money drained from expenses, she started working full-time to keep up with Casey’s tuition. And with three kids, she has a lot to balance.

She used to take me to therapy after the incident, but after thousands of dollars and no results, she was finally convinced I wasn’t going to participate anyway. Best decision she ever made. All I did was sit and stare at the wall anyway. I didn’t want to talk. It didn’t help. It didn’t bring my dad back. And it sure as hell didn’t take the memories away.

“Why are you dressed like that?” my younger brother, Nathan, asks as soon as I walk into the kitchen.

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