CHAPTER ONE

WHAT were you supposed to do when the man you were in love with didn't even seem to re alize you were female, let alone that you had feelings towards him?

Diana knew exactly what she was going to do, and Kal El wasn't going to like it one little bit!

Even as the thought entered her mind—with a determination that was unshakeable—a bel low of rage came from within the adjoining chamber, quickly followed by the man in her thoughts (and heart) himself exploding out of the room to cross to her desk with forceful strides.

Dinah, filling in as Deputy Leader of the JLA, had been in the middle of a conver sation with Diana, but she took one look at Superman's thunderous expression, suddenly remembered that she need to catch up on some admin stuff and disappeared quickly.

Diana's own manner was as casual as usual as she continued to look through the papers strewn across the large discussion table in the JLA's conference room. She shook her head quickly. 'If you had wanted to, you could not have chosen a more dramatic way of scaring everyone around, even your friends!,' Diana drawled in an amused voice, not at all perturbed herself by his ob vious bad temper—or the reason for it.

Superman scowled. 'I don't give a damn about Dinah or anyone else's nerves.'

'That's unlike you,' Diana bit out tautly, her eyes flashing with anger, coloured a deep smoky grey by the emotion. 'You usually don't have this "don't give a damn about anyone else's feelings". What's changed?'

Superman's mouth tightened: a finely chis eled mouth that looked too perfect to firm with temper or thin with displeasure. Diana had seen that mouth curve up into a smile so warm that the very sun was put to shame, had seen that mouth firm into a hard thin line that made tough opponents wince — and yet Diana knew that whatever was troubling Kal now, was going to get much worse.

'What do you call this?' He waved a piece of monogrammed paper in front of her nose.

Diana didn't flinch, coolly raising black brows at the object that so offended him. 'Well,' she said with a casual lack of interest, 'I don't know what you call it, but it looks de cidedly like a letter to me.' She looked at him challengingly.

His harshly indrawn breath showed he wasn't in the least amused by her levity at his expense. But at this precise moment Diana didn't par ticularly care what he felt. Maybe she would later—she was sure she would later!—but right now she was only concerned with showing him she didn't give a damn.

Which was a complete fabrication. She had been fascinated about Superman from that very first meeting with him years ago, had loved him almost from the day she came to know him, caring for him deeply as she interacted with him more and more.

He had confessed to being equally enamored of her at that time, had even stolen a quick and deep kiss, which she had been totally unprepared for, totally inexperienced, never having been with a man.

She had not been ready for a relationship with a man then, let alone a Superman, and she had asked him to go slow.

Superman had obviously lost interest after that, as he had never made another move or displayed the slightest feeling towards her.

And now, as she very well knew, Superman just did not see her that way. In his other life as Clark Kent, he was dating hot-shot reporter Lois Lane. Diana had even met Lois as Wonder Woman and had liked her. Lois, however, didn't know the depth of Clark's feelings for her. Lois, in fact, didn't care about anyone or anything, only about being successful in her career—which, with her gutsy, never-say-die attitude, she certainly was.

Any other women besides Lois were a non-event in his life, Kal not even seeming to see them most of the time. Which Diana had found, when she had been told on more than one occasion by other hopeful males, that she was beautiful enough to be a Princess (she was), could be very frustrating.

Perhaps if she didn't love him, if Superman wasn't not a great hero and didn't not look like a romantic hero himself, with his slightly overlong black hair, clear blue eyes, perfectly chiseled features, and tall, muscular body that his red and blue body suit showed off to perfection, it wouldn't have mattered quite so much what he thought—or rather, didn't think—of women or her, in particular.

But Superman had the sort of male good looks that could stop conversation in a room when he entered it, could have —and had had!— beautiful women pursuing him from all over the planet and several other planets too.

The former he seemed genuinely not to notice, and the latter he ignored as a childish— except that Diana knew some of the women had been perfectly in earnest!

To Clark and to Superman, social occasions were just a way to avoid doing what he really loved doing – helping people who needed it the most. And if Lois or Diana or any other woman went along with him on these occasions, he saw it as an extension of work. He could be so flattering to a woman's ego! Truth be told, Diana had never been seen on a social occasion with Clark, and meeting the President of USA or the Guardians of Oa as Wonder Woman and Superman hardly counted as social occasions.

And cynicism wasn't going to get her anywhere, she acknowledged truthfully.

Oh, she had tried more than once to deepen the conversation, or to show him how much she cared through her words or actions. Nothing she had done had got her anywhere with this Superman.

To him she was just a partner for battle, a companion and colleague in the League, and during missions, his preferred combat partner. She might just as well have been a man for all the notice he took of her. And now, in his position as leader of the JLA, he might as well be on another planet – he was constantly busy with League affairs, more than anyone of the other Leaguers.

Which brought her right back to the reason for his fury with her now.