James was the first born child of Winifred and George Noble of Brooklyn. He had two younger sisters that he doted on and a childhood that was, by all accounts, idyllic and darn near perfect. An intelligent boy he excelled in his studies. Athletic in nature he also could play and play well, any sport he decided to try. The Depression made life a little more difficult for the family, though George still had his job so they were better off than most. Then the war broke out in Europe and talk of the US joining began to buzz through the nation. There wasn't much support for it however until Pearl Harbor happened.

James was torn between his duty to his country which would mean fighting and his duty to his family which meant staying home and earning money. The choice was taken from him however as he was quickly drafted. Basic was easy enough for him, his natural athleticism transferring easily to the training and his intelligence and ease with people had him moving up the ranks to Sergeant in no time.

He saw fighting and a lot of it first in Sicily and then in the Italian mainland. He was a sniper and a good one though he also saw general battle far more often that he liked. He remained in the fighting, off and on, until late August of 1944 when he was critically wounded during Operation Olive. He ended up losing his left arm above the elbow and he was then sent to Britain to rest and recuperate before they would eventually, likely, send him home.

Being sent home never happened because in late 1944 the car James was riding in went off the road and hit a tree killing both the driver and himself. Only, James's death didn't seem to stick and he stumbled out of the morgue with a splitting headache only to be pulled aside by another man before he got too far. He called himself Clayton Bailey and he explained that the same thing had happened to him some thirty years earlier. They decided to stick together from that point on, though neither understood what exactly they were.

After the war they moved to a little shotgun house in the Faubourg Marigny. James loved that house and loved being with Clayton in it. Slowly but surely he began falling in love with his best friend. He'd never had feelings for a man before, though he had lusted after a few in Brooklyn Heights. Clayton however seemed not to notice so James kept them to himself, their friendship was just as important as his feelings.

After twenty years in New Orleans their life got a kick in the pants with the arrival of a woman named Keagan. She informed them that they, like her, were immortal and therefore would never age nor die unless their head was taken. Which meant that they needed to learn how to fight with a sword. Clayton was already quite accomplished but James found it difficult, his missing left arm certainly a detriment. Keagan was a patient instructor however, teaching him as many tips and tricks as she could. Anything that might give him an advantage in a fight. After five years with her he was almost as good as Clayton.

They parted ways in Ashville, North Carolina Keagan leaving them with a list of Immortals they could trust and go to for help. Their "line family" she referred to it as and James liked the sound of that. He was missing his family something fierce, even though he knew they thought he was dead, he often thought about trying to contact his sisters.

They moved to the mountains in Virginia with the intention of staying there another good twenty years when another Immortal found them and challenged Clayton. James knew he was the easier target and figured the Immortal left him for last because he knew he'd be tired after one fight. Clayton easily outmatched him however and took his first head. Something about it unsettled him and, without a word, he left in the middle of the night. James was heartbroken but tried to understand it. He just needed time to himself was all, right?

Never one for solitude James traveled, coming into contact with a few members of his line family and studying with them for a while before moving on to his own life again. He became a very good fighter though he preferred not to, having seen too much violence in the war. Still some Immortals only believed in the Game and the violence of it and he took three heads in the 80s before things settled down again after the faux Gathering.

James then settled in Chicago and began working at a library. And then Clayton turned up again and James was overjoyed. They shared a tiny apartment in the Loop and life was good once more...until a few years later when Clayton got bored and ended up moving out and up north to work at the Circus World Museum. They talked everyday via phone and visited each other most weekends, but it wasn't quite enough. James kept thinking about perhaps finally telling Clayton how he felt but it always fell to next time. Next conversation. Next visit.

In mid June of 2002 people began to fall ill with a dangerous flu virus and James got it into his head that, as an Immortal, he could help out. He went to the Topeka Viral Center along with the doctor that had installed his state of the art prosthetic arm with that intention.

Arriving at the center was the last thing he recalled until roughly a month later when he found himself in a safehouse outside Lawrence Kansas with Clayton looking pale and upset and wholly unlike his normal self. James doesn't recall fully what all was done to him though he does get snippets in both waking flashes and in his dreams.

Speaking of dreams, he began to notice that he was dreaming of two figures, probably had been even before he was cognizant of it, drawing him in two different directions. One to Vegas, one to Boulder. Clayton admitted was dreaming of them as well and that he wanted nothing to do with either of them. James however knew there was a fight brewing and though he did not want to fight he knew that it was something he had to do, so they headed off for Boulder.