After the Internship

By: Brooke Cumberland

An Intern Serial Novella



To my readers,

This one’s for you.

-B.C.





Prologue

Cecilia



I COULD NEVER have imagined how drastic my life would change the moment I said yes to Bentley’s question. We lived a simple life in Omaha and traveled around the world for Bentley’s career. We kept to ourselves mostly with the exception of traveling to L.A. for events and interviews.

I was now slowly getting use to Bentley’s lifestyle. I learned quickly that every move you make was documented by paparazzi. It only happened when we traveled thankfully, but ever since the press captured my engagement ring, they’ve been relentless.

The summer I graduated college, we moved back to Omaha and bought a house together. Well, Bentley bought a house. I had yet to find a job, and being fresh out of college, left me limited options as a sports management major.

Once we settled in, Bentley’s agent and assistant, Angie said it was now or never. I urged him to do it and that I’d be fine here searching for a job while he traveled. I knew the modeling industry wasn’t a nice one and, if he had the opportunity, he better take it or I’d forever regret setting him back.

He didn’t accept that very well. He said he’d only go back into it if I went with him, knowing how often it’d keep him away from me.

I tried to tell him that I’d be okay and that we’d be okay, but Bentley Leighton doesn’t take no for an answer.

Deep down, I was thrilled he wanted to take me with him. I knew I didn’t want to be without him, but I also didn’t want to be the one to get in the way of his dreams. Traveling with him from state to state and country to country has been surreal—I never imagined, in my entire life, I’d be able to see the world with the man I loved.

After opening my dad’s lock box previously, something in me changed. Not only did I finally have closure, but I also felt this eagerness to live life. Not everything had to be structured or planned out. Not everything had to be perfect, but things were perfect.

Bentley had given me more opportunities than I could ever imagine. I never wanted to take that for granted, so when he knelt down on one knee, there was no way I’d ever want to spend my life without him. I knew I’d marry him. I knew he was my forever. I knew it was only ever Bentley.

Growing up in the sheltered lifestyle that I had could never prepare me for what was to come. The press dug everything up about me as soon as word of the famous model, Bentley Leighton, was officially being taken off the market. They dug up my father’s case. They dug up how Bentley and I met. They dug up the stories that were once reported on my dad’s cold case murder. To the officials and society, it was still a cold case to them, and that was how it was going to stay.

I tried to ignore it, turn off the TV when I saw it, and stopped reading all the magazines. I avoided the internet like the plague and tried to focus on the next step in our lives.

Our marriage.





Chapter One

Cecilia



The wedding planner

“I SWEAR TO god, Celia. You make me try on one more goddamn dress—”

“Please, Cora,” I beg, blinking my best doe eyes at her. “Just one more store.”

Katelynn laughs next to her and rolls her eyes. “You said that two stores ago.”

I turn and scowl at her. I’ve been dragging these two around all day, but I had yet to find the right dress.

“This is the exact reason I eloped. You didn’t see me dragging you to a million stores,” Cora huffs.

I sigh and narrow my eyes at her. “You also didn’t have a future monster-in-law breathing down your neck.”

“Reason number two Simon and I eloped,” she says proudly.

Shortly after their engagement, Cora called me from Vegas and announced her and Simon had gotten married. I about strangled her through the phone, but I was beyond excited for them. My first reaction was to ask if she was pregnant, but once she put that to rest, they both started looking for jobs. Once they had saved enough money, they bought a house in a small town outside of Omaha. I’m actually very impressed with how put together they are. They work perfectly as a couple.

We walk into another store, and I immediately scan for the bridesmaid dresses. We have less than an hour before we have to leave. If Bentley’s mom finds out we’re shopping without her, I’ll never hear the end of it.

I’ve explained to Bentley’s mom—Mrs. Leighton—what kind of wedding Bentley and I want. All I get in return is a mumbled response—usually something about how awful my ideas are and how this wedding needs to be ‘elegant’ and ‘charming’—aka Leighton’s signature over-the-top society-approved event. Basically, she wants to show it off for the press.

She insists on helping and even wants to hire a wedding planner, but I don’t want that. I don’t need that. I can plan my own damn wedding.

She’s lived the prestigious life much longer than I have. I’m still getting use to everything—if I can ever get used to it.

Ever since our engagement was broadcasted, the paparazzi have been actively trying to dig out the details of our wedding. They weren’t bad at the beginning of our relationship since we were good at keeping out of the public, but now, with a ring on my finger, they think it’s fair game. We were fortunate in keeping most of our personal lives a secret while we lived in Lincoln, and since he took a break the first year we were back together, there were no issues at all.

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