The Intern Volume One

By: Brooke Cumberland

I’ll need to learn a lot about their software system, and how to crack into the private and restricted information—for my own personal research—but Simon is a computer genius. He teaches me anything I want or need to know. He doesn’t know the extreme measures I’m about to go through, but I know he’ll help me if I ask him.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find out information and piece them together. Given the right tools and details, I know I can find out more about my dad, and at least with that, I can have closure.

To distract me from checking my phone, I decide to search Bentley Leighton during computer time. Okay, so it’s not the best distraction, but it doesn’t hurt to know more about my potential boss.

The second I click on images my entire body heats. Apparently, he was into modeling before he started working at Leighton Enterprises. There are professional shoots and magazine spreads of him shirtless...though, I am definitely not complaining about them.

He’s completely ripped and lined with tattoos on one arm and his chest. That, I wasn’t expecting to see under his suit and tie, but the more I dig into his past, the more sense it makes. He wanted to be a model. He was getting his career off the ground, booking shoots and ads, when his parents told him it was time to become involved in the family enterprise.

Explains his damn attitude.

My entire body tightens and butterflies reappear in my stomach. It’s a foreign feeling—it’s nothing I’ve ever felt before. There was no denying I was attracted to Mr. Leighton’s looks, but his attitude sure could use an adjustment.

Interestingly enough, he majored in English with a minor in criminal justice. So he has the background to be a reporter or journalist. And from the reports that I found online, he’s damn good, too.

* * *

I grab my lock box that I left on my bed and open it. I have numerous files, pictures, and ‘evidence’ from my dad’s death. I wish I could put the memories in there as well, lock them up, so I don’t have to be constantly reminded of them.

I look through the newspaper clippings that are all headed with Murder on Maple Heights and Man Shot Down in Front of House. Let’s not forget about his three innocent children standing in the front yard.

Who fucking does that?

I rub my scar as I close my eyes and remember. It’s hazy, and I wish I could remember more. I wish I could remember the man who was driving the old ‘79 Cadillac. It was like slow motion—his car slows right in front of our house, he pulls out his gun and aims for my dad. As soon as my dad falls to the ground, the car speeds off.

And then nothing. All I remember are sounds. Screaming. Crying. Sirens. That’s it. My memory is literally useless.

Perhaps it was because a bullet nicked me in the shoulder, and I blacked out, waking up a day later in the hospital.

We had cops and detectives flooding the house for days after. They checked into my dad’s background trying to link anything to a gang or a business deal gone wrong. It made no sense. My dad wasn’t a bad guy.

* * *

“What book are we reading tonight, Princess?” my dad asked as he tucked me into bed.

“Hm...” I pretended to think aloud, but he knew which one. My favorite one. “Sleeping Beauty.” I smiled.

He smiled and shook his head. “Of course.”

He grabbed it from my bookshelf and sat next to me in bed. I leaned against my pillow as his arm wrapped around me.

He was the best at reading stories, always making the voices match the characters. I giggled every time he read it.

“The End,” he said as he turned the last page and shut the book.

“One more time?” I pleaded. “Please, Daddy?”

“Not tonight, Princess.”

“Will I ever find my Prince Charming?” I asked stalling, not wanting him to leave just yet.

“Yes, of course. And when you’ll know he’s the one. You’ll know.”

I crinkled my nose. “I’m too young to be rescued just yet. I don’t need a hero.” I giggled.

He leaned in and kissed my forehead. “Be your own hero, Princess. Worry about finding the one that makes you happy. That’s all that matters, anyway.”

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