When I started writing Mark Young’s back story, I knew he had an older sister. But, that was pretty much it. In fact, at first, he didn’t have many nice things to say about her. Then, I started to dig a bit deeper.
Mark had always seen his sister as cold, withdrawn, and a bit of a bitch. A lot like their mother. But, as I started to dig deeper into his memories, he realized that she’d always been the one to take care of him. The one who made snacks for him when he was younger, that helped bandage any scrapes when he fell down. She was the only one who was there to meet him when he got back from basic training after he joined the Marines. He also realizes her seemingly cold attitude was her defense against their dysfunctional family. Anger tended to be his.
Maura loved her younger brother. She tried to take care of both of her brothers, but the youngest was treated like the golden child, so it was Mark she worried about more. Him and their father constantly butted heads. She tried to step between them, but that often made things worse. So, she started withdrawing, still trying to defuse situations without actually stepping in the middle.
Maura married Evan Reddick, thinking he actually loved her. She thought they’d have a better marriage than her parents did, something more than a business arrangement. Instead it was the same, maybe even worse. He cheated on her, lied to her, and ended up isolating her from friends and family. When it started affecting their children, she knew she needed to leave him.
Mark had been in the Marines during most of Maura’s engagement and the early years of her marriage. So, he didn’t see how bad it was. Didn’t realize she wasn’t really happy with what had been arranged. But, after he’s wounded, she’s the only one in the family who shows up when he needs the support.
After Mark moves north, at his best friend’s urging, to join the fire department in Crystal Glen, Maura’s the only one in his family he still talks to. His father essentially disowned him, and his mother always went along with her husband. But, even with her, he doesn’t keep good contact with. It’s actually from his best friend, Nolan, he learns how bad things have gotten in her marriage. Between the two of them, they convince her to move up to Crystal Glen with the kids.
So, Mark and Maura haven’t always had the best relationship. But, when it really matters, they’re there for each other.