|Spoilers: Crimson Death
This article or section contains spoilers for 2016 novel Crimson Death.
Proceed with caution.
Cardinal, sometimes spelled Cardinale, is one of the vampires of Belle Morte's line who came to St. Louis after their previous master, Dracula of London, went insane and was assassinated. Cardinal is first mentioned in Danse Macabre, but we see her for the first time in Bullet.
Tall, thin woman with curly naturally orangey gold-red hair and big blue eyes. Too tall and thin for her original time, but now looks like a model.
Augustine mentions Cardinal very briefly as one of the many vampires of Belle Morte's line who were all created to be whores, himself included.
We meet Cardinal properly for the first time in this novel as Damian's girlfriend. She is from the beginning jealous of Damian's affections, and resents that Damian sometimes needs to sleep with Anita. Cardinal allows it in emergencies, but she does it under protest and clearly isn't happy about the situation.
Somehow Cardinal and Meng Die get roped into getting Anita dressed and dolled up for a big gathering with aim to impress, and they do well enough under the circumstances. Cardinal knows Anita well enough to be certain she has nice underthings despite less-than-impressive outer clothes. Cardinal naturally attends the gathering as Damian's date.
Cardinal is mentioned as Damian's "steady in-town girlfriend", who hates that Damian reacts to Anita in public the same way as many of her lovers do, flirting with others but making it very clear he's not actually available because he belongs to Anita. Cardinal hates Anita herself a little bit as well, thanks to that.
In this novel we learn that Cardinal and Damian have talked to Anita about trying monogamy, so Damian is off the feeding list. We see them both later at the living quarters of Circus of the Damned, when they escort Jade to see that Anita is alright.
Cardinal is only mentioned briefly in relation to Damian being monogamous with her.
Cardinal is again mentioned only briefly for Damian seeming to be pretty happy with her, and Jason asking if Damian would ever have found Cardinal if Anita had been sleeping with him as much as with Nathaniel.
Damian struggles with Cardinal's jealousy that is getting completely out of control. She'd rather he continue suffering than have him sleep with Anita and try to cure what afflicts him. He suspects Cardinal would rather see him dead than in another woman's arms, and isn't happy with that level of obsession, when what he wanted was love. Cardinal goes after Anita believing she has broken her word and slept with Damian, and almost gets shot as a reward. There's a lot of relationship drama, and we learn that Dracula brought Cardinal into his kiss with the understanding that she would have to have sex with him. She has bag-loads of issues, from Dracula and other men in her past, and is clearly unstable and dangerous. Damian is paying the price of these issues no matter how much she insists she loves him more than anything. Even her work is suffering from her jealousy, as she can't spare enough attention from her jealousy to making the customers feel desired.
Damian chooses his health and Jean-Claude's orders over Cardinal and goes to Anita, causing Cardinal to break things up with him. When he returns to his room, which he had shared with Cardinal and which she had decorated to her rather than his tastes, all her clothes are already gone. Anita isn't convinced Cardinal is gone for good as she's a drama queen and likely to expect being fought for, but Damian is done trying to play her games. We don't see her again in the rest of the novel.
Damian later mentions Cardinal hadn't liked hearing about Damian's time as a viking and his attitude towards women at the time, and that Anita wouldn't either, if he tried to explain. Even later we learn that after a few months of being together Cardinal hadn't desired Damian in her bed anymore, already burning with jealousy and thinking he was fantasizing about someone else. However, even later Anita realizes that at least some of the issues Damian was having with Cardinal were at least partially his own, as right after getting rid of the decorations that Cardinal chose (and which he claimed to hate) he lets Nathaniel to decorate the room in Nathaniel's own taste in turn. It's thus entirely possible that Cardinal's choices were never forced on Damian, but that he accepted them with a smile at the time.