During The Gathering and The Calling Maya is dating Rafael Martinez, a fellow skin-walker. She is very grief stricken over his 'death' as they were dating and he fell out of the helicopter to stop her from falling too. When Maya and Rafael reunite she is over welled with joy, but also has a strange feeling she can't shake. Once she discovers he is bugged and was captured by the St. Clouds she does not dump him, which is what he was afraid of. They remain together until the end of The Rising, when Rafael breaks up with her because he realizes she has feelings for Daniel.
The Gathering is set in Salmon Creek, a town owned and run by the St. Cloud Cabal, the place to which Maya and her family moved to, from Oregon, when she was 5. The place Maya regards as home. They moved to Salmon Creek due to her father getting the job of Salmon Creek Park Warden, which in the novel is revealed to be because the St. Clouds wanted a young family to join the town in order to help it grow.
Maya has a love of animals and possesses great skill at nursing them back to health. She does this with the injured animals her father finds in the park, only taking them to the vet when it is absolutely necessary. Due to Maya's love of all animals, great and small, her parents bought her a pet German Shepard named Kenjii in order to help protect her from wild predators. It appears that the animals love Maya as much as she loves them. Wildlife, primarily cougars seemed to be particularly attracted to her.
This affinity is later implied to be due to the fact that Maya is a Skin-walker, a supernatural species of the Navajo. a fact that she discovers through Rafe, a boy she dates who she later finds out was actually searching for her because he knew this and he hoped that she would be able to help him. He reveals that the Skin-walkers as a supernatural species died out, but through the Phoenix Project; an experiment by The Edison Group, and funded by the St. Clouds, latent genes were activated in women causing their children to once more become Skin-walkers. However this really worries both Maya and Rafe as his sister changed as a person when she started Shifting forms, to the point where she is now more animal than human.
Maya initially has very little knowledge of her origins due to the fact that she was adopted when she was very young. She doesn't want find her biological mother because she thinks the woman lost the chance to be her mom years ago, when she abandons her. She later finds out, from Rafe, that her mother gave her up to protect her from The Edison Group and the St. Clouds, and she is astonished to find out that she also has a twin brother.
Besides Serena, who dies in the prologue of the book, the only person Maya regards as a true friend is Daniel, the boy who used to be Serena's boyfriend (the three of them had been best friends). With Daniel and the few other teens their age, she attends Salmon Creek High, a very expensive and up to date school, which is of course funded by the St. Cloud Corporation.
She has a birthmark of a paw on her hip which she desires to get tattooed to keep it from fading, an idea which her mother gets her father to agree to, until the tattooist's Aunt calls her a "witch", something her mother takes great offense to. They later find out that she was in fact calling her a Skin-walker.