The Wedding Wish (South Georgia Love #1)

By: Kelsey B. McKinney


The Call

Jamie Andrews kicked of her stilettos, scooped them up, wound up her good arm, and threw them straight over the side of the building. It was a long way down, but she didn’t care.

Plopping down on the grey rooftop couch, Jamie sighed and drained the rest of the champagne in her plastic glass. She had been promoted to Eden Literary Agency’s Book Agent of the Year —a very prestigious award, and everything she had worked her butt off for ten years to get. There was even a surprise party going on for her in the office underneath her now-bare feet.

She stared blankly at the concrete jungle around her. The lines of skyscrapers seemed never-ending. The smog created a brown, opaque haze over what would be an otherwise gorgeous sunset. Jamie closed her eyes and tuned out the buzzing traffic below.

What she wouldn’t give to have her bare feet in the green grass of the tiny town of Baxley, Georgia that rested in the heart of Appling County. She was from the Deep South, and as much as she had tried to escape the small-town life, she couldn’t deny that she missed it immensely.

For a moment, she thought she caught the sweet scent of honeysuckle, but then she realized it was probably a delusion from the carbon-monoxide-infested air. She took shallower breaths just in case.

She had her dream job, dream apartment, dream life…

Why was she feeling this way?

Jamie’s phone rang as she knew it would about this time.

It was her grandmother June, that she affectionately called Mama June — since she basically had been her mother. Being raised by her grandparents had been the best part of her life.

The last Jamie had heard, her mother was in Arizona waitressing, and her dad wasn’t too far away from that, unless you call Las Vegas the other planet that it is.

He did odds and ends jobs and threw away all his money in the casinos —not the nice ones, the shady ones where coins and tokens weren’t the only things the machines had a way of dispensing. He had been in trouble once with some bad people and needed money. After 15 years of not speaking to or seeing Jamie, he’d had no shame in asking her for the funds, which she had freely given to him.

Jamie then threw herself right back into her work, pretending it had never happened, while Jamie’s dad got back to losing all the money she’d wired to him.

They hadn’t spoken since.

But Mama June? Well, that was a different story.

She was relentless at making sure every aspect of Jamie’s life was taken care of and that she’d had every chance and opportunity every other child had.

It wasn’t her grandparents place to take care of her. They could’ve refused her, let her go into the foster system, and never cared. But not her grandparents.

They had been Jamie’s very own angels, with Mama June being the fierce protector and guardian taking the reins.

“Hey, Mama June,” Jamie said.

“Well, well, well,” her grandmother replied, with the same amount of smug sass that made her humorous, especially with her southern drawl. “If it isn’t Miss Agent of The Year. I’m surprised you aren’t out celebratin’.”

“Actually, there is an office party going on downstairs,” Jamie said, playing along.

She knew her grandmother was proud.

“And why aren’t you at your own party? Don’t be rude, Jamie.”

Jamie laughed heartily.

“I’m not. Just needed a break.”

“Well, I’ll let you get back to it, then.”

“No,” Jamie’s heart sank.

All those people downstairs didn’t matter as much as her grandmother. She loved when she called. It was nice to have someone real congratulating her and who would never blow smoke up her you-know-what just to get ahead.

“You don’t have time to talk to me,” Mama June said. “Get back down there.”

“I will always have time for you. You know that.”

“You happen to have a plus one there?”

“No ma’am.”

“And why not?”

Jamie knew the speech that she was about to hear. She had always heard it, but a lot more since she graduated college and moved to New York.

“My plus one is back home and talking to me on the phone right now.”

Mama June cackled. “You know what I mean, girl!”

“So what’s been going on with you?” I asked.

“Same old. And don’t try and change the subject. You know how important it is to me that you meet someone special who loves you and treats you right. You can’t be on your own for the rest of your life.”

I sighed.

“That’s just not good for people, Jamie,” Mama June continued. “It’s time for you to not be so scared of that part of life, thinking everyone’s going to leave you like your parents did. Hell, I’m not going to be around to take care of you forever!”