Cassie Lambert

Cassie is a bit of a mixture. As a scientist, she has a open mind but tends to get overly technical. Often she loses herself in the science. Yet, she's practically bubbly, laughing easily and easily spotting the absurdity of things even in serious situations. And she's certainly able to see the bizarre nature of the situation she's in with Narian. 

This ability is exactly what Narian needs. Cassie takes things in stride and with Narain's condition, she often has to.

Narain meets her at a charity event that his restaurant is catering. It's been a year since Sophie's death but Narain is still feeling the loss, especially in light of the challenge his condition is now presenting him. He notices everyone, which is part of the vampire instinct, yet focuses on no one.

Until Cassie engages him in flirtatious talk followed by a invitation to dance. Cassie has a no-nonsense approach to many things in life. Or perhaps the better term is fearlessness. And he's uncertain why but dancing with her Narain is able to drown out the sensations that had been overwhelming him and focus solely on her. 

When they part, Narain decides the connection he felt is one he can't allow to continue but something he fully enjoyed that one night.

As is described in book two, Narain's meeting and romance with Sophie back in the 1930s was an unexpected thing. Cassie would be a romance he would have to pursue and he is uncertain, giving his condition, how to do that.

When he told Dom of his encounter with the lovely scientist, his friend seemed even more excited than he was and Narain’s insistence that it was a case of “two ships passing in the night” left Dom frustrated.

“Obviously you were attracted to her,” he argued. Narain nodded, knowing with some humour that silence would exasperate his friend more. “And she was attracted to you.” Narain only shrugged silently, grinning as Dom’s gestures became more animated. “What? What does ,” Dom shrugged, “mean? She had to be attracted to you. She came on to you.”

“She didn’t come on to me,” Narain clarified. “She asked me to dance.”

“My point. My point exactly.”

“Coming on to me makes it sound crass. Like she asked me to step into the coat closet for a quickie.”

Dom stopped and stared at him. “You know for someone who’s lived through two world wars and a handful of police actions, you sure are prudish about some things.”

“It’s not prudishness,” Narain defended, continuing his walk. “It’s just…well, perhaps one reason I found it so enjoyable was there was no pressure. We met, we danced, we parted.”

“And you’ll call her tomorrow night.”

“No, I’ll treasure the memory.”


This time it was Narain’s turn to stop. Hands on hips, he said, “You know Dom it means a great deal that our friendship has grown to the point where you can offer me advice on romance as if calling a woman for a date would be the easiest thing in the world for me. Yes I’ve lived through two world wars and a handful of police actions and aside from a date here and there when I was normal I have only been in love with one woman through all that time. And her discovering my unique condition was an unexpected thing. I didn’t have to sit down and reveal it to her one night over a dinner, which by the way, I wouldn’t be able to eat.”

Cassie, however, pursues him and while one part of him is cautioning him not to get involved he's listening more to that part of him begging him to accept her advances.

As a microbiologist, Cassie has a curious tie to Narain and the world of the vampires though he's not privy to it right away. In fact, by mid-story, Narain isn't sure if she's somehow connected to Reginald Jameson who has resurfaced 90 years later, much to Narain's dismay.

Cassie is independent and even manages to save Narain during the course of the novel (though the circumstances, again, only add to his confusion about her loyalties).

I wanted to make Cassie a strong character. I wanted to make their relationship a partnership. But it doesn't start easily. Between Cassie's awkwardness with relationships and Narian's discomfort with himself, it takes a little while for the two to admit how comfortable they are with each other.

Without a word, he got up and began washing the skillet he’d used for cooking the kheema burjee. He couldn’t help but fear this had been a mistake. He had agreed to have one drink with her, not cook her a romantic dinner and send off a signal that there could ever be anything more.

But damnit! He craved more. That’s what unnerved him so. He was like an alcoholic who’d taken that one drink. He liked her. He could very well imagine loving her. And if indeed this were true, how could he think of forcing his reality on her. At that moment, as much as he craved her attention, the lack of nourishment of late left him craving so much more…he felt the need gripping him constantly, which was why he had been avoiding people of late.

How did one weave that into romantic dinner conversation on a third date?

“I’m so sorry,” she said uncomfortably, breaking the silence. Pushing the plate away, she said, “I think I’ve overstayed my welcome.”

He raced over to her, faster than he meant to, insisting, “Oh no, not at all.”

Taken aback by his speed, she still couldn’t hide her obvious discomfort as she explained, “You know, I thought there might be something here,” she waved her hands indicating Narain and herself, “but maybe I misread signals.”

“Oh, no, there is definitely something here.” The words fell out before he could censor them and Narain was surprised to feel a sense of relief, especially when he saw her face brighten.

A bit ashamed, she admitted, “I’m awful at this sort of stuff. I spend so much time focused on microbes and blood samples. You know, I can pick up on the slightest variation in a virus but signals between a man and a woman…I mean, I’m awful when it comes to flirting.”

“I’m not complaining,” Narain said, shrugging. “Besides, I haven’t exactly been smooth myself.”

“You’ve been fine.”

Taking her hand, he said earnestly, “Cassie, I’ve been attracted to you since we danced at the benefit. The thing is I’m shy about entering a relationship. I…well I have some baggage and have had many, many years to collect it.”

“We all have baggage.”

He grinned, raising a finger. “Not like this. In fact, I think I can safely say that very few people have baggage like this and I suppose I just don’t want to inflict it upon you.”

Biting her lip, she cupped his chin, studying his face. “You expend a lot of energy shielding people, don’t you? That can lead to a great deal of loneliness.”

He chuckled, enjoying her touch. “You sound like Dom.”

“Well, maybe you should listen to him.” They stared into each other’s eyes for a few moments before she cleared her throat and glanced at her watch. “Well, I think I’d better be going. Dinner was delicious, thank you.” Reaching into her purse, she withdrew a business card, stating matter-of-factly, “Narain, I don’t know what is going on or where it’s headed but I’m very interested in finding out.” She handed him the card. “If you feel you can trust someone else with some of that baggage, give me a call. We’ll see if I’m strong enough to help you carry it.”

She kissed his cheek, the same one she’d kissed at the benefit, but this time her movement was more confident and he stood there silently as she smiled and left the kitchenette.

I think it's that dance I like the best about their relationship. They compliment each other. Narain can have a tendency to lose his cool and Cassie is able to settle him down by not reacting when he does lose it. In Cassie, Narain finds not only someone he's wildly attracted to but someone he feels he can trust with all the strangeness that his condition brings. That normalcy, nearly lost when Sophie died, slowly returns as Cassie enters his life. And while he knows that he will outlive her, he's willing not to dwell on that and simply enjoy the joy she brings to his life, for however long that may be. 

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