Date with Superman

Maneuvering a trailer dumper while flying upside down, blowing gently to make sure the debris didn't hit any onlookers, wasn't easy even for Superman.

He'd already seen the reporters crowding around the yellow markers demarcating the 'crime scene. If he wasn't Superman, he'd be there himself, as Clark Kent , trying to get some quotes for his story.

Distantly he registered Coldplay's voice coming from the radio in the truck.

Setting it down gently, he dusted his hands off and began to straighten from his stoop.

As he rose, his glance fell on a pair of red boots tapping their way across the asphalt.

Slender, shapely calves. Long legs.

He'd recognize those legs anywhere.

He raised his eyes to the meet the cool amused gaze of Wonder Woman.

Piercing blue eyes. Glossy, black hair that rippled across shoulders.

And a face that could mean a million things, all at once.

"Hello, Kal." Her voice was smooth. Warm. Like heated honey. Her smile genuinely bright. "Welcome back to New York ."

What she said next, stunned even him. "I've heard the Wayne foundation's announcement. You're going to be part of their annual charity auction," Wonder Woman went on, obviously undaunted by the grim look on Superman's face. "You're going to be a very popular item."

"I don't want to be a popular item."

She ignored his comment and went on. "It's your participation that would generate a lot of excitement, Kal. You know that."

Superman's face was impassive. "I didn't say I would do it."

Wonder Woman sent him another smile and nodded her head towards him. "That's not what I heard from Bruce."

Superman's eyebrows pulled together. Friend or not, Bruce couldn't do this. He wasn't even aware he'd voiced his thoughts aloud till her heard her response.

"It's for a good cause."

"Always is."

"You haven't even heard the details."

"Don't need to." Turning away, Superman flexed his leg muscles, ready to fly off. "I'm not doing it."

Wonder Woman placed her hand on his arm and leaned close, her evocative scent enveloping him. "The Wayne Foundation does the kind of work you and I have always supported in the past. I know if you hear the details, you'll agree."

x-x-x-x-x

"You know that I've stopped doing this kind of publicity event, Bruce," said Superman, as he folded his arms over his chest and looked at the Batman.

"Oh, you're the eternal boy scout, Clark. I know the reasons you stopped but don't understand them." Batman didn't even look up from the computer screen that he was studying.

"Too bad….no way will I—"

"These kids need support from role models like you."

"Then why haven't you volunteered yourself?"

"It's not my style. It is your style, though."

"It used to be. Not any longer. Not since…"

"…you couldn't save that child from dying," Batman completed Superman's sentence for him. He still didn't turn around to look at Superman, keeping his eyes and hands on the computer console, opening file folders, till he got a picture on the screen in front of him.

It was the picture of an eight year old boy with a sweet smile.

Turning, he watched Superman's face as continued speaking, "Dylan's father died of cancer. He's part of the One for One program the Wayne Foundation supports. But you don't want to get personally involved any more, do you?"

Batman's nimble fingers pulled up another file photo, this time of a freckle faced girl. "Meg is an eleven-year-old foster child attending a program that helps young people learn to find their place in a new home. As you know, older children are more difficult to place."

Relentlessly, Batman pulled up a third photo – a scowling teen. His braided hair hung past his shoulders.

Baggy pants hung low on his hips, red boxers visible above the waistband. The belligerent look in his eyes was sharp.

If sweet smiles and freckled faces weren't enough, an adolescent with a defensive attitude would be easier to refuse.

"Jason dropped out of high school," Batman said. "The Wayne Foundation partnered him with a mentor who took him to Metropolis to see you fly. These children are orphans, Clark. Like you and me. Without the nurturing influences of the Kents or Alfred."

Superman's frown turned into an outright scowl. "Bruce, you're blackmailing me. You know how awful I felt when I couldn't reach that little boy, David, in time to save him. And now, you want me to get involved with more children?"

" Clark , its time to stop grieving. It's been one year now. And you can't close yourself out forever. Do this charity auction. It'll do you a world of good."

x-x-x-x-x

To say that Superman was upset was an understatement, thought Lois.

She'd been assigned by The Daily Planet to cover the story – it was bound to be a crowd puller.

Superman was going to be auctioned for a date, with the money going to charity. Lois had done tough interviews before. But this time with Superman was proving to the most difficult of all her assignments. She forced herself to focus on his words.

"I thought it would be the same auction they do every year. A celebrity makes an appearance. The crowd bids. The Wayne Foundation makes money for homeless, orphaned children, and I can leave immediately after the benefit dinner with the victorious socialite who doesn't have a clue—or cares—what poor kid her outrageous bid is helping."

Superman crossed his arms, his suit stretching over the hard muscles. "I had no idea

I'd have to interact with the people competing to win a date with me."

"But that's the beauty of the setup." Lois rose from the leather couch, unable to restrain the smile of enthusiasm despite his misgivings.

"I understand the Wayne Foundation wanted something fresh and new, not the same old thing they've done the past ten years."

She crossed thick carpet to stand beside him. "Except for your attendance at the benefit dinner, all the interaction is done online. You engage in a little flirty debate with the ladies competing for you. It's supposed to be an entertaining battle of the sexes over what comprises the perfect date."

Her smile grew. It would give her story a great human interest angle to record Superman flirting with the ladies.

"For a small fee, the public can cast their vote for the 'most compatible.' So the people decide your companion to the benefit dinner, not the socialite with the most money to bid."

"So the masses decide which contestant—a lady I've never met nor will ever see again—I'm most 'compatible' with?" It was obvious from the air quotes with his fingers that he found the idea ridiculous.

Lois frowned. "It's supposed to be all in fun, Superman. I've never known you to react like this. What's the real issue?"

"First, I don't know a thing about social networking."

Lois responded automatically, "I can teach you," then continued, "but since I'll be bidding on you too, it would be a conflict of interest."

Superman's eyes narrowed consideringly at her, before he continued, "Second, I don't have time for all this online interaction stuff."

"You can do it anywhere, even while pulverizing meteors. It takes five seconds to text a question to the contestants. Maybe ten to respond to their answer."

"I don't text."

Stunned, Lois stared at him. "How does anyone inhabiting the twenty-first century not text? And surely, you're used to more advanced technology?"

"I do not spend 24/7 with a cellular attached to my hand so that I can inform my friends via Twitter that I'm about to stop a hurricane from hitting Florida ."

Lois sent him a measured look, "Superman, you're not being asked to provide the public with a commentary on every detail of your life."

x-x-x-x-x

"Hotenuff says she wants us to go as Batman and Batgirl because she thinks she'd look good in tights," Superman read out the message to Green Lantern. "Guess I'll have to explain that real men don't dress up as Batman."

"Or you can tell her that you prefer the sexy, villainous Catwoman over the friends-with-predict-ably-boring-benefits Batgirl," came Green Lantern's rejoinder. "Your other messages are no better."

Superman wondered briefly if this madness would ever end. It seemed everyone in the world was participating in this auction. Only a few days more of the contest to go, sighed Superman.

"Warrior for Love seems to have quite a fan following. And she's sent me some really great messages," he continued commenting to Green Lantern. "It looks like she may be a winner."

Red Tornado walked into the room, waving a paper and looking unusually but visibly perturbed.

"Will you explain social-networking etiquette to me?" he asked.

Green Lantern grimaced. "I'd rather not talk about it."

Superman said, "You need to remember that your words minus the facial expression and the inflection in your tone are open to interpretation."

"It means that I may think that I am being charming and witty, and the recipient thinks that I'm being insulting," added Green Lantern helpfully.

"I'm confused," responded Red Tornado.

"It's simple, Red," Green Lantern continued, "Just be aware of the subtle nuances in your words and how they can be interpreted."

"Nuances?" he said, as if the word had a foreign taste, which to Red Tornado, it did. "My notes said nothing about nuances."

"What notes?" asked Superman.

"The ones I looked up on the internet." Red Tornado held up the tablet in his hand and began to read, "And remember, people are interested in those who are interested in them. A little self-deprecating humour is good, as it's humanizing, but not too much or you'll appear to lack self-confidence."

His brows drew together in doubt. "Maybe it's easier to create a new energy saving device instead," Tornado said.

"Who came up with today's question for the contestants?" asked Green Lantern. "If you and your date were invited to a costume party, which costumes would use to pair up and why?"

Superman didn't respond. He was giving the screen in front of him his undivided attention and focus, responding at super speed to the 600,000 messages for him.

The Wayne Foundation had offered to recruit someone to respond on his behalf but Superman didn't think it was ethical to do that. People were expecting him to respond but even for a Superman, the volume of messages was incredible.

"Oh Bruce," he thought to himself, "If you were here…."

x-x-x-x-x

"So there are five contestants running neck to neck in this contest?" asked Lois as she interviewed Luke Ferris, COO of The Wayne Foundation.

"Yes."

"And would you be able to share the names with me?"

"Yes."

"Well….?"

"Huh?"

"The names of the contestants," said Lois patiently, betraying none of the frustration she felt at Ferris's monosyllabic answers.

"Oh yes. I don't know their real names, of course, but the internet names they use are: Hotenuff, Warrior for Love, Bird of Paradise, Love Potion Number 5 and Bodacious."

Lois concealed her disappointment. Her own entry into the contest was using the name, Angelpuff.

She wanted to ask Ferris how far away from the top five she was but hesitated revealing that she had participated in the Date with Superman contest.

Especially since she was also reporting on the event.

She glanced briefly at Ferris' boss, the elusive Bruce Wayne. He looked faintly bored, thought Lois. He probably wanted to escape into his boardroom and do the things he was most famous for – making money and more money.

"Well, thanks for the interview," she concluded. "I'll be in touch with you when the winner is announced."

x-x-x-x-x

"I'm not sure that you should encourage Hotenuff to share her stories of her sexual exploits at work."

The light of humour in Superman's eyes grew bigger. "I like Hotenuff. She's interesting. "

"Of course you do," Wonder Woman muttered. "She has sex on the brain."

"An admirable quality in a woman."

Lips pressed in a line, Wonder Woman kept her eyes on her task as she began to spoon strawberries onto her plate.

They were in the pantry on the JLA satellite, with both having been rostered for Monitor Duty together. Waiting for their replacements, the conversation naturally moved to Kal's Date with Superman contest.

As she put the first spoon of strawberries into her mouth, her thoughts flew back to the moment when she had broken the news to him and his irritation and annoyance. Well, he'd come a long way since then, she thought, he was sitting here, opposite her, like the cat who had had all the cream and smiling at the thought of the contest.

It wouldn't do to let Superman know how much his suggestive comments were flustering her. Wonder Woman made her tone as even as possible and said carefully, "Just because Hotenuff said she'd pass on a date with the CEO in favour of the fire-fighter because he'd know how to 'put out her fire' …" Wonder Woman couldn't prevent the roll of her eyes "… does not mean she was the instant winner of tonight's debate."

Spoon in hand, Superman paused to look at her. "Angelpuff certainly wasn't the winner," he said dryly. "Claiming she'd prefer the CEO because she likes her men both physically and mentally commanding was an insult to fire-fighters everywhere. It also shows her to be an intellectual snob."

The humour returned to his eyes. "I'd much prefer hearing about Hotenuff's escapades."

"Not acceptable."

Superman stopped in the middle of spooning more strawberries onto his plate and looked at Wonder Woman with his clear blue eyes. "Why not?"

She shot him a fierce look and leaned in, saying softly, "Because she'll only be too happy to tell you about every one of them."

One corner of his lips almost curled into a grin. "You have a problem with that?"

"Yes," Wonder Woman said.

"What do you have against a few little stories?"

"Sexual relationships are not for public consumption. They should be kept private." She went on, grappling for the right words. "Sharing the details belittles the intimacy between two people and …" Her voice died as she saw the look on his face. "Why are you smiling?"

"Diana," Superman said, as he leaned closer. His voice was low, rumbling with intent. "I don't know when you forgot your upbringing and mine. Sex does not have to be a mystical meeting of two souls. Sometimes it's just a physical release between two people who are mutually attracted to each other or as Ollie would say, have the hots for each other." He arched a brow and allowed himself to smile even more broadly, "And there is nothing wrong with that."

x-x-x-x-x

Lois was watching the talk show featuring the discussions on Date with Superman.

The petite blonde in the beaded cocktail dress looked confident in her answer. "Angelpuff was right. Most women choose men who provide intellectual stimulation as well as strength," she said, looking around their female gathering.

The lobby was crowded and everybody was listening as intently as Lois. "What good are muscles if a man lacks intelligence?"

Lois wanted to do jump up and down and pump her fists into the air in triumph.

The five women on stage were giving a detailed analysis of every online debate since the beginning of the competition.

The tall, red-haired lady sent the blonde a supercilious smile. "Linda, I've been married and divorced multiple times. Believe me," she said dryly. "A woman can overlook plenty if her man knows how to put out her fire."

With murmurs of agreement from the cluster of females, all in support of Hotenuff's answer, Lois's smile froze.

The soft spoken, black-haired lady who could be counted upon to take a different view spoke up, "I like what Warrior for Love said," she said. "It's not what a man has; it's what he does with it that counts."

As laughter erupted and applause broke out, Lois murmured an excuse to the ladies and left the discussions.

Clark appeared at her elbow just as she broke free from the crowd. "So what do you think?" he asked her. "Who will win the Date with Superman?"

Lois shrugged. "No concern of mine, Smallville."

x-x-x-x-x

"Is an emotional commitment a requirement for a physical relationship? What kind of a trick question is that?" asked Superman disbelievingly. "Have you been talking to the team that runs this Date with Superman contest?

He effortlessly sucked his breath in and then blew it out again, blowing the meteorite shower away from the Earth's atmosphere.

"What? I don't know what you're talking about," responded Wonder Woman as she used her bracelets to pulverize the meteorites that escaped Superman's breath.

The two JLA-ers were on monitor duty once again and the conversation had picked up where they had left off, the last time around, at the Date with Superman questions.

The alert for a freak meteorite shower about to hit Earth didn't stop the conversation.

"Well, it's just that we were talking about this last week…"

"And you think it's more than coincidence that a question on similar lines was asked this week?"

"Err...um…well…"

"Never mind, Kal. I'm not even interested in the answers this time."

"You should be. Last week's winner wasn't either of the names we were discussing. Neither Hotenuff nor Angelpuff made it. It was Warrior for Love who was the winner. And that's the third time that's happened. It looks like she may win, after all."

Wonder Woman glanced at Superman apprehensively. She'd hoped the conversation wouldn't revolve around this week's question and responses. But her hopes were not to be fulfilled.

Already, Superman had flown at super speed around the Earth's circumference and pulverized any meteors that both he and Wonder Woman had missed the first time. With the meteor shower no longer a problem, they retreated to the JLA satellite, where Superman pulled up the computer screen that showed the discussion of the week.

He began to read out the answers:

Hotenuff says, "Hell, No!"

"Typical," snorted Wonder Woman

Angelpuff says, "It's desirable."

"The physical relationship or the emotion?" asked Wonder Woman.

Bodacious says, "If the physical relationship is strong, the emotion will be mind blowing."

"Huh? Shouldn't it be the other way around?" smirked Wonder Woman.

"Lust at first sight seldom lasts, but neither does love at first sight," said Superman.

"Who said that?"

"Well, that was Bird of Paradise. It seems that's the last message for today and the last for this question, unless Warrior for Love sends one in."

…PING! Superman frowned at the screen. "There's a new message that's just come in."

Wonder Woman watched as he scanned the screen and then, suddenly, threw back his head and laughed out loud.

"It's a message from Warrior for Love," said Superman, "and listen to what she says, 'Attracting sex is simple. The hard part is when someone believes that sex and love are the same or that one will naturally lead to the other', that's profound."

"Sounds like there's some honest thinking in that one," said Wonder Woman.

"Yes and that's got my vote for the winner today." Superman quickly typed in the required commands, hit the send button and logged off.

"Come on Diana," he said, "Monitor Duty's over."

"So, who's leading in the contest," asked Wonder Woman as they began to complete the Monitor Duty logs, while waiting for Flash and Green Arrow to show up as the next team.

"Well, it was Hotenuff for a long time, with Bodacious being a strong second. But over the last few days, Warrior for Love seems to be winning all the votes."

"Have you checked her out yet?" asked Wonder Woman, "Do you know who she is?"

"No," responded Superman, "I haven't. I didn't think it would be fair to do that, though of course, it would be very easy."

"Hey Supes! Hi Diana! I'm here now, you guys can leave if you want, and I'll wait for GA. Is there anything to eat? I'm starving."

"There's some milk in the fridge and cookies in the cupboard. I'm off," said Superman, as he turned to leave. "Bye Diana, we must do this again, sometime." He flashed a quick smile and stepped into the teleporter.

"Did I interrupt something? You guys looked pretty intense just now."

"No, nothing important," replied Wonder Woman. "We were just talking about the winner for his Date with Superman contest."

But Flash was no longer paying attention. He had already zipped around at super speed and had finished a packet of cookies and was busy gulping down half a glass of milk.

Wonder Woman sighed. Without saying another word, she headed to the teleporter. Home to Themyscira House.

x-x-x-x-x

"So who is Warrior for Love? Why can't you share details about the date with us?" asked Lois at the press conference called by The Wayne Foundation to announce the winner of the Date with Superman contest.

"We're not yet ready to reveal the identity of the winner. And the winner has requested for privacy," was the response made by Luke Ferris, spokesman for The Wayne Foundation. "We will, however, on consent from both Superman and the winner, release news about the date after it has taken place."

"Why not before?" asked the reporter from Metropolis News.

"Well, the reasons are obvious. We want the date to be memorable. Not just a memory of huge crowds."

"How much money has been made for charity?" asked a petite blonde reporter from Wichita News.

"It's been a huge success. The Wayne Foundation gratefully thanks everyone who participated in the Date with Superman contest. Respondents, voters, viewers, all of you…we've made 3.2 million dollars for charity."

There was thundering applause and cheers at the announcement. There were more questions but Lois didn't stay to listen.

"Just who was Warrior for Love? Where did she come from? How can I compete with someone I haven't even seen?" seethed Lois as she went back to her office. "Date with Superman was meant for me to win! Not some nameless hussy from somewhere who's too scared to meet a few people….huh!"

"Hey Lois, I just heard….sorry you didn't win. If it helps, I certainly thought Angelpuff made some pretty good responses."

"Smallville, now's not the time," said Lois curtly. "I've got a story to write. I deserved to win. Not this Warrior for Love…whatever!"

Clark looked bemusedly at Lois Lane. He'd never seen her so angry before. And disappointed. Her confidence had taken a serious jolt. Only yesterday had she told him that she'd entered the competition using the name Angelpuff. No wonder she was upset. Maybe going out for dinner would cheer her up. Without thinking about it, he asked, "Want to do dinner with me tonight? We can try…."

"…go out with you as a consolation prize, Smallville? Thanks but no thanks! It's sweet of you to offer, but I'm going to do an extra hour at the gym today and work out all my negativity!" Lois gave Clark a tight smile and flounced off towards her work station.

x-x-x-x-x

Superman smiled at himself in the mirror. He wished he knew who his date was. Not even Bruce would tell him. "Against the rules," was all he would say when Clark asked him. "Surely, the boy scout doesn't want me to break the rules?"

Ten minutes later, Superman presented himself at offices of The Wayne Foundation. Instructions had been very clear. He was to pick up the winner from their office. Along with the winner, Superman would be handed a sealed envelope. Every contestant had described how they wanted their date to be. The Wayne Foundation and Superman had to make their wishes come true.

Superman privately hoped that the winner didn't expect anything that he might have to refuse. Like dinner on the moon….or …..

Luke Ferris's voice broke into his thoughts, "Superman, thank you for being on time. If you'll wait here, the winner will join you shortly. We won't be present in the room when your date walks in; we want the two of you to have some quiet moments together to avoid any awkwardness going forward."

"What awkwardness?" asked Superman, "what are you expecting?"

"Nothing, nothing," said Luke Ferris breezily. "It's just that you're going to spend a few hours together, after all. It's better to begin this way. Away from curious eyes." He reached into his jacket and pulled out a sealed envelope. "Here's the wish list from your date. We've scanned it, of course, it's all very doable. Any expenses on the date will be taken care of by the budget we've set aside for this event."

Superman took the envelope from Luke Ferris and watched as he turned and walked out of the room.

He wasn't using his super vision to check who was coming into the room. So something happened to Superman that hadn't happened in a long time. His jaw dropped and while he tried to say something, no words would come out of his mouth.

"Helloooo, Superman," said the winner. "I'm delighted to win and even more delighted at the prospect of spending a day with you."

"What are you doing here? Is this some kind of joke?" yelled Superman, having recovered his breath and his voice.

"I know it's a shock. But it shouldn't be. Why should it? I participated and won….fairly, most fairly."

"But you….you…you…"

"Still shocked? I don't know whether I'm amused or annoyed just now. Why is it so hard to believe?"

"Diana…..why participate in this contest? You could have just asked me…we had Monitor Duty together only the other day…."

"Oh Kal! Where's the fun in that? You know we have this mutual attraction…we've always had it…but we both use immense will power to control it."

"But you've never indicated anything…."

"Yes, I have. But you've never picked up the signals. So, what better way to find out how strong the attraction is than by spending time on a 'date' together?"

Superman paused to look more fully at Wonder Woman. She had abandoned her uniform today and was wearing a classical evening gown. The skirt fell in floaty folds to mid-calf length, the top was purple, and beaded, with three-quarter sleeves and a deep, crossover neckline, which was subtly sexy.

Not so subtle were the black five-inch heels that she was wearing. Her jewellery was eye-catching-a classic Greek gold choker and star shaped earrings. Her bracelets complemented the effect.

In her uniform, Wonder Woman's most obvious feminine charms were on display unlike this gown she was currently wearing, mused Superman. Yet, he definitely preferred this gown – he found it sexier than her uniform.

Superman gave himself a mental shake when his train of thought began transferring messages to his body. Highly arousing messages, making it nearly impossible for his super will power to control his body….He quickly opened the envelope and scanned the contents, hoping that he could control his lustful thoughts…he was wearing his tightly fitted uniform after all.

Wonder Woman's voice interrupted his mental musings, "Kal, oh Kal, if you're so uneasy, maybe we should call it all off?"

"No, Diana, you won a Date with Superman, and that's what you'll get."

Superman knew that he was behaving foolishly.

Wonder Woman was just as attracted to him as he was to her, hadn't she just said so. Given the situation, there was nothing to stop either of them acting upon the chemistry sizzling between them. They were both adults, after all. Both free to do what they liked…..

x-x-x-x-x

Wonder Woman tried to relax as they entered Superman's Fortress of Solitude, but even with her using every last bit of her Amazon training, it was impossible. Something had taken possession of her when she'd received the call at Themyscira House telling her that she was the winner.

She'd entered the contest as part of the pact with Black Canary and Zatanna. They'd been discussing it after the last JLA meeting when Black Canary had suggested that they all enter the contest using aliases. Wonder Woman had chosen the name Warrior for Love for herself and had responded honestly to each question posed by Superman. She'd been very nervous, unfamiliarly so, every time that Superman raised topic of the event with her. Only sheer training had prevented her from slipping and revealing herself.

As the contest progressed and she found herself leading, she was even more nervous. How would Kal react? What would he say? Would he reject her advances?

And this evening, when she realized that she'd be alone with him, away from the cares and pulls of duty or League work, she'd felt that same something again. Something that touched her deeply as she gazed her fill at him, unreservedly, allowing her feelings to take reign.

That something was desire. The desire to be kissed, and touched, and made love to. By Kal. She'd admitted it to herself a long time ago.

The sexual hunger consuming her body was intense. It had been churning within ever since she knew that the date was today. And this was despite the fact that she'd trained extra hard this morning to dissipate some of it.

She glanced up at him from under long lashes as she walked past Kal now, hurried past him into the Fortress, her expression a tantalizing mixture of femininity and apprehension.

Superman's body reacted excitedly to both. Which rather shocked him. Why was he suddenly so lacking in self- control? Why was Diana apprehensive of him? Unless, of course, it wasn't him she was apprehensive about. What if she was apprehensive about herself? What if she, too, was being besieged with almost uncontrollable desire?

He followed her out into the main chamber of the Fortress, his mind in turmoil as his frustrated body began to create havoc with his conscience.

"Oh my!" she said breathlessly as she gazed, first at the Kryptonian technological marvels about her….the multidimensional rooms that seemed to cascade on top of each other, the inviting relaxation areas – heated pool, Jacuzzi, spa….then the changing images of scenes from other planets, with panoramic views of Earth interspersed….

Superman already knew the effect the Fortress had on visitors. This was the first time that Wonder Woman had entered this new chamber. He'd only recently completed it after all, finally mastering a new level of Kryptonian technology and the effect still amazed even him.

But just now, none of the marvels drew his eyes. Only her.

It was no use. His desire was too strong to deny. He'd been controlling himself for years, too scared to take it further. Not sure whether she would reciprocate or be annoyed and destroy their warm friendship.

Well, now, he told himself, forget his self-promise not to make a move on Diana until she was ready. Forget everything!

When he moved up behind her and placed his hands gently on her shoulders, her head jerked around to stare up at him with widening eyes.

'I'm sorry,' he said softly. 'But I have to do this.'

Wonder Woman froze as he turned her into his arms.

The surety that he was going to kiss her brought some panic. Because she knew, if he did, she would be lost.

Her eyes pleaded for mercy but he ignored them, his left hand lifting to slide around her neck under her hair, his right hand cupping her chin, holding her face solidly captive in readiness for his descending mouth.

Her lips parted in a belated effort to voice a protest. But all that accomplished was to leave her mouth more vulnerable to his advances.

His kiss was far from gentle. Superman's lips ground against hers, his kiss a branding on her mouth and inside her mouth. The forays of his tongue were aggressive and deeply sensual. Soon her head was spinning, her heart thudding loudly behind her ribs.

One kiss dissolved into another, then another, his hands dropping from her face to wrap around her back, crushing her against him. Her own arms responded by looping around his neck, her fingers entwining together, then pressing down to stop his head from lifting.

She didn't want him to stop kissing her. Not ever!

He didn't stop. He kept kissing her, even after he scooped her up off her feet and carried her into another chamber, his Fortress bedroom, she was to discover later. By the time he lowered her to the bed, Wonder Woman's desire had moved beyond the need for just kisses. By then her body was sending messages to her brain for more intimate contact than mouth to mouth.

She needed him closer. And she needed him now.

Her mouth wrenched away from his, her desire-glazed eyes dropping to the red belt around his waist. It didn't seem shameless to undo that belt, just necessary. "Kal," she sighed.

He was staring down at her as if she were made of pure gold. "Yes?"

"Would you touch me please? Because I think that I'm about to go out of my mind." Her whole body was prickling and tremors kept running through her legs.

A corner of his mouth quirked up, and a hand settled on her breast.

It felt so good that she twisted under him, gasping, and finally managed to say, "I need—"

"This?" His lips replaced his hand, but it wasn't enough. Now that they didn't need to pretend with each other, didn't need to control desires, she was mad for him.

Her usually adept fingers were clumsy with their speed. His, too. Together they stripped each other, their carnal urgency having no patience with small talk any more than necessary.

"I need you." Her voice sounded childish to her ears, so she wound her hand hard into his hair and pulled his mouth to hers,, pulling his body down over hers. She said it into the sweetness of his kiss, "I need you now."

Superman was a hero whom many in the governments of the countries on Earth had come to trust. If you told him there was a desperate need for something, no matter how difficult or impossible, he would do his best to satisfy you.

Without saying a word, Superman reared above her and a thumb stroked down her most delicate part. Diana twisted under him, crying out.

His voice was deep, without a trace of his usual self control. "You are exquisite." His hand caressed her so that she arched again.

"Kal," she whispered, and then lost track of what she was saying because his lips followed his hand. His tongue sent wild sensations rocketing through her body.

She closed her eyes as she let the sensations flow over her. Superman was ruthless, controlling her desire, driving her higher and higher, closer and closer.

Finally, finally, he pulled back, pushing her legs even farther apart. "Open your eyes, Diana," he growled. "Look at me."

She could no more disobey him than she could disobey Aphrodite. "Please," she finally gasped. "Kal!"

They had never been this way together, yet he stroked into her as if they had made love every night for years.

It felt as if he were coming home, as if he'd finally found someone of his own. Pleasure burned down her legs, making her cry out. The passion that gripped her had nothing in common with what she'd imagined their coupling to be.

She could no sooner control the moans flying from her lips than she could leap from the bed.

Yet still their rhythm didn't seem entirely right. He would thrust, and then she would arch up at the wrong moment. They bounced off each other rather than moving in unison.

Superman stopped moving.

"No," Wonder Woman gasped. There was a lovely, building heat in her legs, more intense than she'd ever experienced, and she was desperate to chase the sensation. "Please, please don't stop!" She shuddered and arched against him again.

"You're leading, Diana," he said, his voice hoarse.

"What?" She blinked up at him.

He deftly pulled her arms over her head and imprisoned them with one hand. "Let me," he said through his teeth.

But she didn't understand, even when he stroked forward again. It was so lovely that the heat seethed in her legs and she cried out.

Superman stroked forward again, long and deep.

It was so intoxicating that she twisted up against him any way she could. She couldn't stay still.

He made a noise that was somewhere between a groan and a laugh and dropped her hands, pulling her hips up so her legs wrapped around him and she couldn't move.

"Kal!" she cried, shocked by the vulnerability of her position. But he wasn't listening, just moving, and suddenly she got it, and pushed back against him at just the right moment.

"Yes," he said, between his teeth, his eyes intent, fierce. He kept moving that way, hard and deep, and she arched toward him frantically, at the right moment. The fire in her legs was spreading and making her seethe and tremble.

Superman was looking down at her the whole time. The look in his eyes, the raw possession, made the feelings in her body spiral tighter and tighter.

"Diana," he said, deep and hard as his body, and she wrapped her arms around him and broke the way thunder cracks in the sky, into a before and after, into the Diana-who-had-never and the new Diana.

He came with her, into the fury and the heat of it, and the only thing she heard was the sound of her cry and his as they fused into one being, and that was good enough.

x-x-x-x-x

Kal woke and watched Diana sleeping, bathed in soft lights of the bedroom. He could hardly remember seeing her like this before. Completely relaxed. Even when she was attending a League meeting, there was a contained restlessness to her as though she was alert and ever ready to leap from her chair.

He smiled now. She didn't share a bed well. She lay at an angle across the big bed. One arm was flung up above her head, her fingers curling gently. The pale skin of her arm looked so soft, vulnerable almost. Her eyes, usually flashing sparks, were closed. Eyelashes kissed her cheeks.

She stirred and rolled. And the sheet he'd pulled up over her as she slept shifted. So beautiful. She took his breath away.

More alive than anyone else he knew. Brimming with vitality and humor.

The edge of the sheet lay across her chest, dipping low but not low enough to reveal her lush perfect breasts.

So feminine. He'd been wilfully blind to that about her before. He'd focused over the years on how much of a warrior she was, how she was his colleague, his friend, at times almost a sister, to help him avoid focusing on the obvious.

Diana was gorgeous.

Passion personified.

Nothing sultry, just a deep sensuality that called to him, like no one else.

She opened her eyes and her lips curved into a smile. That's where the danger lay. Those eyes.

Just looking into them made him feel like a superman. Her smile broadened, she shifted again, arched just a little.

He took back his earlier thought. Sultry. There was no other word for it. He rolled toward her.

She traced a pattern across his chest with her fingertip. "You know, Kal, for a slow starter, you're a very strong finisher."

He caught her lazily circling finger, brought it to his lips and kissed it. He found her next finger, kissed that also.

Her fingers weren't enough. He rolled on top of her, holding his weight from her, and loved the way she wriggled to accommodate him and the heat and anticipation in her gaze.

She grinned back at him and her eyes sparkled.

He brushed her hair back from her face and kissed her forehead.

She rocked her hips.

He touched his lips to hers, and conscious thought evaporated.

x-x-x-x-x

"The trouble is that I can't bear to be away from you for long—" Superman gestured between the two of them "And I don't think you can either"

"No, I don't., Kal. It's the same for me."

Wonder Woman watched Superman's lips move – lips she knew so well.

Caught his scent. Rational thought disintegrated as he leaned closer. Every cell in her body yearned for his touch.

She'd fallen in love with him gradually, over the years but had hidden her feelings….until the Date with Superman contest was announced.

Then she'd decided to chance it and enter the contest.

The gods would smile upon her and grant her success.

The date had been memorable. But the aftermath of the date was even better.

It had led to more open conversation and interludes between them, building already on their strong comfort level with each other until they were both able to admit that they weren't just friends-with-benefits but in love with each other. Not the rush of heady infatuation. But the deep and abiding love that had its roots in mutual respect and friendship. Friends and lovers.

He was like no other man she'd ever known. She loved his seriousness, his humility, his kindness. She loved him and everything about him.

The Kal who was her friend as well as her lover who was looking across at her so vulnerably….

"You're a Princess, Diana," he said.

"Huh? So that's never bothered you before."

"I'm just a simple farm boy from Kansas. How can I be worthy of you?"

Unable to bear the look on his face, she went to him then. Hugging him, she said, "Kal, your heritage is two-fold. That of your Kryptonian lineage and your Earthly existence. Both have made you the man you are. And as to worthiness, surely I should decide that?"

He lifted his hands to frame her face. Just that touch of his palms along her jaw rendered her immobile, stole her breath. Made her ache. Her lips parted with need for him.

She felt the familiar insistent tugging low within her and said, "Tell me you don't want me to kiss you, every bit as badly as I want you to kiss me."

He fought for long seconds over the answer, drowning in her eyes, aching with the need to touch her. "I don't want you to kiss me."

She placed her hands on his head, lowering it to her and brushed her lips across his.

He deepened the kiss, the way she needed him to, his lips slanting over hers, tasting her deeply, and filling her with the taste of him. Her arms slid around him, pulling his body closer, holding him to her, and any last scraps of reason fled. She was lost to him, lost to the sensations. His warmth, his scent, the exquisite pressure of his lips on hers, the way his tongue teased.

Finally, aware that they needed to talk more, they broke apart and he rested his forehead against hers. His thumbs stroked her jaw. "I love you." His words whispered across her lips.

The joy in her face made him blink. Her eyes contained such a beautiful smile that he had to kiss her again.

When he lifted his head, she met his gaze unblinkingly. "I love you," she said.

On a soft sigh Superman kissed her again. This kiss was full of the promise of delight and pleasure. It was long blissful seconds before he lifted his head and looked deep into her soul searing eyes.

"Diana, be fine forever?" he asked.

Her gaze never left his. "Yes," she said, "Oh yes, Kal!"