James Wenslow sipped at his drink and watched his beaming cousin mingle with her guests. He had to admit she looked beautiful in the white gown though she'd already dispensed of the veil. He grinned in his glass as his best friend, dressed smartly in a white tux, claimed the bride and kissed her softly on the cheek before leading her away to cut the four layer cake tucked safely in the corner.

"Ten bucks says he smears it on her face," RJ Stone said as he appeared next to Jamie.

Jamie snorted. "Ten bucks says she smears it up his nose."

RJ laughed. "You're on!"

They approached the crowd that had gathered around the cake table and watched as the couple carefully sliced two small pieces. They each took one and gazed lovingly at each other. Suddenly, she sprang into action and shoved her morsel in his face, managing to lodge a heaping amount of white frosting up his nose.

"Pay up," Jamie smirked.

"Dude, I'm disappointed," RJ called out. Cole made a rude hand gesture in his direction before accepting the napkins Ally handed him. "So, did you tell them yet?"

"No," Jamie said slowly, turning to retake his position near the door. "Today is supposed to be all about them."

RJ let out a low breath. "She'll be pissed if you don't tell her yourself."

"I know," Jamie admitted. "I'll tell her."

The party carried on and Ally finally found him and coerced him to the dance floor. "You've been avoiding me, James," she said with narrow eyes. "What gives?"

He grinned and kissed her cheek. "You look positively beautiful, coz," he said warmly. "And you seem unbearably happy."

"I am," she said, eyes sparkling with pure joy. "But you're avoiding my question."

He sighed and grinned again. "Never could hide anything from you, huh?" She shook her head. "Ok, I didn't want to tell you today because I didn't want you or Cole making a big deal out of it. It is your wedding day."

"What's going on, Jamie?" she pleaded.

"I was drafted," he said, lifting his shoulder in nonchalance.

She gasped. "No way!" she squealed as she hugged him tightly. "What team? Indy? Chicago?"

He snorted. "Not likely." Their dance ended so he took her hand and led her to the garden outside. "I was drafted by the expansion team, coz. Wichita."

She stopped and yanked on his hand. "Kansas? You're going to Kansas? Like the land of Oz and Dorothy and all that?"

"Yeah," he laughed. "But only during the season."

Her bottom lip trembled as she looked up at him. "You won't be around here."

"Hey," he said softly, taking both of her hands. "Coz, we'll still see each other. You'll come watch me play when I'm around here."

She sniffed and wiped daintily at her eyes. "But it won't be the same." She blinked up at him slowly. "We've never been this split before. When RJ and Cole graduated and went on tour, it was always me and you. Never has it been three and one."

He laughed and hugged her. "We're grown-ups now, coz. It's time for us to live our lives." He edged back to smile at her. "Besides, you'll probably be on tour with Cole so it's not like we'd be hanging out much."

She sighed and leaned back into him. "I guess in my fairy tale world I assumed you'd come with. So much for that, huh?"

"Yeah," he said into her hair.

"Hey," Cole called as he and RJ joined them. "RJ said you had something to tell me?"

Jamie pulled away from Ally and blushed. "I got drafted, man. I'm going to play for Wichita."

Cole grinned and jerked him into a bear hug. "That's awesome, man. Can't wait to watch you play."

Jamie's blush crept farther up his cheeks as he shrugged. "I'm a second string quarterback, man. You won't be watching me play for awhile."

"Aw it won't take long," Cole assured him. "You'll be starting before you know it." He raised a brow at Ally's tear stained face and kissed her softly. "You'll still see him, princess."

"Let's snag a bottle of champagne and some glasses," RJ suggested. He tugged on Cole's sleeve and they disappeared inside once more.

"Maybe after this tour ends you can put that degree of yours to use and come work with the Warriors," he quipped.

Her eyes grew larger and brighter. "Hey, yeah! Do you think Cole and RJ would be willing to move to Wichita for the winter?"

He threw his head back and laughed. "Doubtful."

RJ and Cole returned with a bottle of champagne and four glasses. Cole popped the cork and poured while RJ passed out the glasses.

"Here's to our boy making it to the big leagues," Cole said, holding up his glass. They all clinked them and sipped their champagne.

"Here's to our boy, the next Peyton Manning," RJ winked. "And here's hoping he won't turn into Tom Brady!"

"Hey, I like the Patriots," Jamie pouted. "And Tom Brady is amazing!"

"Peyton's much better," Ally pointed out.

"Just toast and spare us the Brady/Manning debate," Cole ordered, rolling his eyes. They clinked their glasses again and drank.

"And," Ally said, tears welling up in her eyes. "To the best cousin and friend ever," she sobbed.

"Here we go," Cole said as he draped an arm around her shoulders. They clinked glasses again and Ally managed to get her emotions under control.

"Should have known we'd find you four out here," Jake smirked as he strolled through the garden. "What's going on?"

"Jamie's been drafted," RJ said.

"Yeah," Jake smiled, slapping Jamie on the back. "Matt told me earlier. Congrats, kid. I'm proud of you."

"Thanks, Uncle Jake," he blushed. "I probably won't play much this year."

"When do you leave?" Jake asked.

"Next week," Jamie winced.

"Next week?" Ally exclaimed. "Already? But it's still summer!"

"Training camp, coz," he told her gently. "Besides, you'll be on your honeymoon."

"I know. I won't be here to say good-bye," she pouted.

He sighed and hugged her and kissed her once more. "It's not forever, coz." He released her and grabbed his glass. "To the four of us. We'll always be friends, no matter where we are."

They clinked glasses once more.


Jamie couldn't help but gawk at the locker room at the training facilities. He was used to top of the line equipment from boarding school but this place made Meridian Valley's locker room look like second hand equipment donated by the Salvation Army.

He dropped his bag at his feet when he found a locker with his name. He opened it and stared in awe. It was plain and clean and had nothing in it. But it was his. This was real. He was there. He finally made it.

"Hey, Wenslow, right?" a voice called out behind him. He spun around to face a middle aged man, graying at the temples with a weathered, tan face. "New QB?"

"Yes, sir," Jamie said as he stretched his hand out. The other man took it. "You're Coach Fredricks."

"That I am," he grinned. "You're gear is in the equipment room. I'll show you where it is."

Jamie went through the whole first day fiasco. He received his pads, helmet and practice jersey. He was surprised at how perfectly his mouthpiece fit. He didn't have to go through the usual routine of boiling it and biting down. All the measuring and poking and prodding he went through a few days ago paid off.

He jogged out on the field and nodded at the other players, trying desperately to keep his awe at bay. Most of these guys he watched on TV last season and now he was on the field with them.

The trainers lined them up and set them to work stretching and working out. He spent two hours stretching and loosening muscles he didn't know he had when finally, they were released to the coaches. He joined the other offensive players and listened to the drills for which he was to participate.

"Great arm," a stocky red-faced man complimented. Jamie was pretty sure he was Coach McKinney but he couldn't be sure. He'd been introduced to so many coaches it was hard to tell them apart.

"Thanks," he mumbled as another coached tossed him a football so he could rear back and launch it at a receiver.

"You won't be second string long if you keep that arm healthy," he muttered.

Jamie's heart turned an excited cartwheel but he kept his emotions off his face. "I will," he promised. The coach nodded and moved on.

Finally, the players were dismissed for the day and Jamie dragged his tired, aching body to the little apartment he rented on the outskirts of Wichita. He opened his refrigerator door and frowned at the contents. He actually had to go to the grocery store alone which really sucked, in his opinion. In college, he always dragged Ally with him and later, when she moved in with Cole and RJ moved in with him, RJ would join him and they'd laugh and joke the whole time.

Sighing, he grabbed a bottle of beer and plopped on the sofa. He turned on the television and surfed the channels, nothing really catching his attention. He longed to pick up the phone and complain to Ally about his workout, knowing she'd understand best, but she was on her honeymoon with Cole and he had no desire whatsoever to interrupt them.

He could call RJ, he mused. But he didn't want to seem homesick. He was, he reasoned, but he didn't want his best buddy to know it. Not that RJ would razz him about it. Well, he probably would a little, but he'd be understanding.

He set his beer on the coffee table and grabbed his keys. He passed a little pub on his way home and he decided he'd go grab a sandwich and maybe check out the female population of Wichita. With a plan in mind, he walked a little lighter and whistled an Out of Control tune as he got in his car.

The little pub wasn't crowded so he was able to snag a seat at the bar. He smiled at a waitress and turned on his stool to admire her from behind.

"Can I help you or are you just here to ogle the girls?"

He swiveled back around and came face to face with a smirking face casually wiping down the bar.

"Maybe both," he said with a crooked grin. "Could I have a menu?"

She pointed to a board behind the wall posting the daily food specials. "That's the menu."

"Makes life simple, I suppose," he muttered. "I'll have the roast beef sandwich, please. And a draft beer."

"Coming up," she said and swung around to yell at a man donning a checkered apron. Her blonde braid nearly smacked him in the face and he jerked back in the nick of time. She poured his beer and slapped it down in front of him. "You're new," she said succinctly.

"Yeah, just moved here this week," he told her as he sipped his beer.

Her light green eyes appraised him carefully. "Are you with the new football team?"

"Yeah," he said, creasing his forehead. "How'd you guess?"

She shrugged. "You have a nice build and you look exhausted. Must be training."

"Yeah, I am. Rough day today." He watched as she retrieved his sandwich from the kitchen window over her shoulder. She had slight curves and her low riding jeans fit her well. She was short, like Ally, but maybe a few inches taller. She wore a faded Nike Softball t-shirt and old sneakers.

"Here," she smiled as she pushed the plate in front of him. "I'm Sophie Flanagan, by the way. Looks like you could use a friend."

He smiled and shook her hand. "Jamie Wenslow and yeah, I guess I could use a friend. I don't know anyone here except the guys from the team and I wouldn't exactly call them buddies."

She laughed and he liked the sound. "Over paid jocks, huh?"

He groaned. "You sound like my aunt." He took a bite of the sandwich and nearly moaned in delight. She handed him a napkin and he wiped his mouth. "This is great."

"My Uncle Charlie is good, huh?"

Jamie glanced curiously at him. "Charlie? Charlie's Pub. He must own it."

"Smart and athletic," she teased. "There's hope for you yet, Wenslow. So you must be a quarterback?"

"Yeah, backup," he grimaced. "Doubt I'll see much playing time but at least I signed with a team."

"I bet you'll see lots of playing time," she argued. "Brock is getting old and let's face it, he kind of sucks."

He laughed and shook his head. "He looked good at camp today." He finished off his sandwich and drained his beer. He pulled out his wallet when she placed her hand over his.

"It's on the house," she smiled. "Maybe you'll give this town some excitement this year."

He grinned and stood, shoving his wallet back in his pocket. "Thanks, Sophie and I'll try. I get home and get some sleep. I'll see ya."

He gave her a wink and headed back to his apartment, that homesickness feeling totally evaporated.

A/N: Here's my usual 'new story warning', if this sucks, I'll take it down LOL. I don't have much of an outline yet so I don't know where it's gonna go.

MIA: Thereā€¦I paid my bet! Damn stupid Colts. LOL. Is Peyton still talking to you?

Anyway, please let me know what you think.

I will TRY to get Robby's story going, I promise.