"There's no need to carry me," Amber protested, not sounding the least bit convincing. "The water comes to just over my knees," Triandal protested. "That's up to your -- nearly comes up to your waist. What sort of gentleman wouldn't carry you?" Amber didn't protest, just took the opportunity to take a long look at Triandal. She'd never seen his face this close, what with the height difference. He certainly looked more rugged than any other elf she'd ever seen. In fact, he was downright handsome. Amber wondered if that were a fact or if it were her growing affection for the elf coloring her vision. And those elfin eyes . . . . The narrow vertical pupils were often accused of being otherworldly, but they reminded Amber of a cat. The silver shot through the iris made the green look metallic. Triandal looked sideways at the dwarf woman staring at him intently. "Why are you staring at me?" "I don't get to see you up close very often. I like your eyes." The big elf felt a little color flood his cheeks. "Am I really that pleasing to look at?" "I think so," Amber said instantly. Triandal's face grew more red. "What? Try to tell me you don't drive all the elf ladies mad," she said. "I . . . I am not . . . considered beautiful by elf standards," he muttered, hefting the dwarf woman. "You must be joking. I've never looked upon a more handsome man." There was nothing but sincerity in Amber's tone. Her blue eyes were sparkling as she looked at him. Their faces truly were close. It was then that Triandal did something most creatures didn't even realize elves could do. He tripped.