Maria was born on March 5, in Calexico, California to Javier and Catalina Rodriquez. Javier owned a successful grocer and Catalina was a stay at home mom. Maria was their second child, the first being a son named Christopher. Chris was five years older than Maria and became fiercely protective of his younger sibling. They were close almost instantly, the little girl toddling after him the moment she could walk. There was never any of that 'no girls allowed' ridiculousness either. Christopher had often yelled at his friends when they refused to include her and Maria grew up as one of the guys because of it.
Unfortunately their happy childhood came to an end abruptly when Catalina got breast cancer. Maria was ten at the time and Christopher was fifteen. The two kids watched as their mother wasted away from the cancer and their father ended up drowning himself in a bottle. After Catalina died it took them a year to get their father back to normal. The three of them did alright there for a while. Eventually Javier met Gloria and the kids got a stepmom. Gloria was good to Christopher and Maria and she never tried to replace the mother they had lost she just worked tirelessly to be the best stepmother she could be and because of that Maria and Gloria grew very close.
And that ended up being a very good thing. When Maria was thirteen Christopher graduated high school and joined the Army. He made it all the way through basic and was shipped out to Iraq. Three months after he was shipped out word got back to the family that he'd been killed in the line of duty. The young girl spent a month in a pit of deep depression. Gloria tried to help. She was constantly dragging Maria into the kitchen and teaching her how cook and bake. Maria managed to start to function again. Javier, however, after losing his first wife and his only son became zombie-like and dedicated himself to his store. He was only be drawn out of it when Gloria announced that she was pregnant.
Nine months later the family welcomed Marcelo into the world. Maria instantly took to the little boy and spent a lot of her free time helping Gloria with him. Javier was ecstatic too and did everything he could for Marcelo. When Maria was fifteen and Marcelo was two she got her parents to agree to let her drop out of school and get her GED. Maria never was much of an book learning person anyway and she was going to eventually take over the grocery store anyway. It was a good thing Maria dropped out when she did because it was around that time the family found out they were going to welcome another child into their home.
Miguel was born two days before Maria's sixteenth birthday. The young boys became everything to the teenage girl fairly quickly and she spent all her time helping Gloria with them and the like. The older woman was worried about her stepdaughter a little, thinking that she was growing up too quickly, but those thoughts were pushed aside when she saw how happy Maria was helping out her family and taking care of her siblings. They spent two years in relative bliss, the small grocery store somehow managing to meet all their needs even as mom and pop shops like it seemed to die out.
On Maria's eighteenth birthday she found out just why that was.
It was late in the evening and the family was enjoying dinner and cake when there was a knock at the door. Maria answered it to find a very well-dressed Hispanic man and about six others behind him. They didn't bother to wait for an invitation, barging into the door and Javier stood claiming that there was no one here the man could take. That his first born was dead. This confused both Maria and Gloria. Not sure what was going on Maria's instincts kicked in and she quickly rushed her younger siblings upstairs, sitting with them in the room. She could hear arguing and the sounds of things breaking downstairs and she did her best to distract the younger ones.
After about a half-hour the shouting stopped and one of the six men with the well-dressed man came upstairs with Gloria trailing behind him, tears pouring down her face. Gloria ran to Maria and kissed the young girl on the forehead and told her to be strong. Maria barely got a word of question out before she was being dragged bodily out of the room and down the stairs.
Once downstairs she saw her father, who was sitting at the table, blood dripping from his nose and neck. She cried out for him but Javier didn't even look up as his only daughter was taken from the house and thrown roughly into the back seat of a dusty limo.
Maria sat across from the well dressed man, trembling in fear. It was only then that everything was explained to her. The man revealed himself to be Julius Garcia, the man in charge of a very well know drug cartel in Mexico and the southern border state. He revealed to her that her father had made a deal twenty-five years ago with him. He would help young Javier and Catalina get to the States and set up a successful business in exchange for their first born child. Javier took the deal and never told his wife. Javier apparently intended on never having kids but two years following the move Christopher was born. Javier never told anyone about the deal and when Christopher died he thought the deal had become null and void. It turned out that Julius wasn't going to let something stupid like death keep him from collecting his due.
If that wasn't a hard pill to swallow Julius revealed that he wasn't just a normal man. Maria watched in horror as fangs appeared in his mouth and she found out that the man who had taken her was actually a vampire. It was at this point that Maria ventured to ask if her father had even tried to stop him from taking her in Chris. Julius chuckled and told Maria that he did. Of course, the fight left him when Julius threatened to drain Gloria and the boys dry and leave Javier for dead and take Maria anyway. All of this was too much for the young woman and she passed out in the back of the car.
When she came too she was on a cot in a dark room. It was cold and she couldn't see any light from anywhere. After sitting in the dark for twenty minutes Julius entered the room, turning on the light from the outside. He handed Maria a plate of food and ordered her to eat, watching as she did. When she finished her food the vampire was on her in a second and fed from her for the first time. This was the routine for the first week. He would come in three time a day to feed her and feed from her. After a week he explained his plans for her. She would be trained to be his personal assistant, kept on a tight leash of course and never let out of his sight. She was also going to be trained in fighting and used to that end to bring money to him in the form of winnings and bets.
Maria saw no other choice than to comply to what Julius had in store for her. A female vampire took Maria and scrubbed her down and dressed her and she took her place in Julius's office. She was a quick study when it came to the Personal Assistant stuff and it wasn't long before she was doing her job very well and not incurring the wrath of her new boss.
The fighting however took longer. The training for it was brutal and she was often left bloody and beaten afterwards. It took her an entire year before she was actually put in the ring and even then she lost more than she won. But like anything else practice and negative reinforcement got the better of her and she managed to start getting good at fighting as well. She still pissed of Julius occasionally but she figured out that if she willingly offered her body to him as well as her blood he was more likely to go easy on her.
After working for him for two years Julius started dangling a carrot in front of her. He'd noticed that while working as his personal assistant she oozed charm and put a lot of his clients at ease. He wanted to use that charm to his benefit so he told her if she managed to seduce or charm the right about of hunters into a death trap of his making she could eventually buy back her freedom. She was hesitant at first, almost botching the first attempt but after a few it got easier for her, of course, every time she asked how many more she had to kill she would get the same answer, "I'll tell you when you've gotten enough."
After a while she was allowed to contact her family at least once a month. Julius's subtle way of reminding her that they will suffer if she tries to get out. Of course, that hasn't stopped the young woman from looking for a way out that won't cause harm to her family.