Rafael "Rafe" Martinez is part of the Phoenix Project. He became Maya Delaney's boyfriend, but she discovers he only dated her to see if she was a skin-walker and takes care of his older sister, Annie.
Rafe is a skin-walker and is nearing his first Shift. His older sister, Annie, is already Shifting.
Rafe has amber eyes and black hair to his shoulders. He often wears a leather jacket and has several tattoos. He's about 6'0" and described to be a couple of inches taller than Daniel. Rafe tells everybody he is from Texas and Hispanic. Maya on the other hand does not believe either of these things for a second. His facial features and his lack of Texan drawl makes her think that he is Native American. His good looks, mysterious "bad-boy" reputation, and the fact he is the only new guy makes him popular with girls.
Rafe and Annie live in a cabin in the forest in Salmon Creek. Annie has been Rafe's legal guardian since his mother's death, but Annie is mentally "slow." Towards the beginning of the novel, Rafe tells Maya he is in hiding because he stole some money from people and now they are out to get him. However, at the end, Maya realizes the real reason Rafe was hiding was to protect Annie from the town. This is because he realized that if the town knew of Annie's mental state, she would be taken away. He knew this must be prevented because of her uncontrollable shifting. Rafe falls for Maya as he starts dating her in order to find out if she is a skin-walker. When she finds out about this, she ends it, but starts falling in love with him too.
In The Calling, Rafe falls out of a helicopter while Maya is trying to hold on to him, as if he hadn't let go, she would've fallen with him. He is presumed to be dead, but later in the book, is revealed to have survived the fall, though it injured him. However, the Nasts bugged his clothes and sent him as a spy to Maya and her friends, forcing him to tell Maya and get captured by the Nasts.
They are reunited in The Rising when Maya is captured, but managed to escape the Nasts facility and get out into the wilderness with Daniel, Corey, Hayley, and Ash. However, Rafe starts to doubt that Maya doesn't have feelings for Daniel, causing her to become furious with him when he convinces her that Daniel is in love with her. However, after they go to the new Salmon Creek, Rafe decides to break off their relationship to give Maya time to figure out where her heart truly lies. Eight months later, Rafe and Maya are just friends as he accepts her decision to be with Daniel.
"Rafael—Rafe—Martinez. Salmon Creek's newest student. Actually, our only new student in three years. Rich parents in surrounding towns tried to get their kids into our school, but they were always turned down. Rafe wasn't a rich kid. He lived with his older sister in a nearby cabin they'd inherited from a distant relative. I guess the board figured it was the right thing to do, letting him attend our school free of charge rather than spend hours on a bus every day.
Rafe told everyone he was from Texas. That was bull. I’d dated a summer guy from Texas and Rafe's drawl was all wrong. His last name suggested he was Hispanic, and he kind of looked it, but his high cheekbones and amber eyes said "Native" to me. He was about Daniel's height, lean, with black hair that hung just past the collar of his leather jacket. Worn blue jeans and low motorcycle boots completed the image. American Teen Rebel.
It was a look we didn't see a lot at our school, and the other girls loved it. Not that Rafe needed the added cachet. Considering we'd had the same guys on our class since kindergarten, Rafe's novelty factor alone would have had girls tripping over themselves. He was the hottest ticket in town. And he knew it."