- "We'd play hide and seek sometimes. No one can hide like me. But no one can seek like James. Some games lasted for months, but we'd always get hungry for each other, so I'd let him find me... We never could get sick of each other. We would've had forever to try."
James was changed by a French vampire at the age of 25 around 1805. He was a naturally skilled tracker because of his nomadic human life with his parents, his father raised him to track and trap. After his parents were killed by the Iroquois, he survived on his own and over time gained a measure of fame during his late teens and early twenties as the best tracker on the frontier.
After he'd been changed, he hunted down his creator and killed him. In the next hundred years, he used his tracking gift to find his prey and killed for entertainment over nutritional needs. Eventually, he grew tired of how easy it was to track humans - it could take some time, but he always caught up, and began to redirect his game plans to targeting vampires, sometimes even a coven. He enjoyed the danger and the rage it may cause to the other members that would make them chase him.
His biggest challenge came when he hunted Victoria, who always escaped.
She and her older sister were scullery maids to an abusive master. They escaped when Victoria was 12, but the two landed the same jobs with an equally abusive master. These experiences made Victoria learn to avoid her masters and eventually survive on her own when her sister went missing one night and never came back.
Her sister came back a few years later as a vampire, and changed her. She was introduced to a coven of female vampires and they lived happy lives before the Volturi claimed that they had "attracted" too much notice from humans and killed their leader, Hilda, and taking another member, Heidi, into their coven. Victoria sensed the danger and rushed the rest of her coven to escape, but only she survived.
In England, James came across Victoria's scent and decided to hunt her. While tracking Victoria, he found himself unable to even get near her as she always managed to escape even after years of hunting. Eventually, he became interested with her escaping ability and wanted to learn more about her.
When she let him catch up with her, there was immediate attraction, though James wanted Victoria. Victoria was attracted to his gift, honesty in his intentions and confidence. Eventually, she fell in love with him, though their lifestyle constantly put her life at risk.
He took interest in her ability to escape and survive, and wanted to use it to his advantage. He was not quite as devoted to their relationship as Victoria was. He never quite forgave Victoria for making him doubt when he was hunting Alice Cullen.
In Midnight Sun, it is said that Victoria loved James very much, putting Laurent at the head when they walked into the Cullens playing basketball even though it would look like Laurent's the leader, because it would be better if it was Laurent dead instead of James.
James, however, did not love Victoria as much. When they spied on Bella and Charlie's fight, James told Victoria to see what's going on, so if she died, at least he wouldn't. When James was tracking Emmett, Carlisle, and Edward, and Victoria tracking Rosalie and Esme, and Victoria found out that it wasn't Bella in her truck and called James, James ordered her to 'Find her!' while thinking "Idiotic Woman!", thinking Bella's in Forks, though he might be referring to the other vampires.
Victoria and James, with their fellow nomad Laurent, find the Cullens playing baseball. While asking the Cullens if they can play too, James picks up Bella's scent and decides to track her and kill her for sport. A hunt begins which ultimately ends with James death, although, James managed to find Bella using his gift as an excellent hunter, with Victoria helping him by sending him information about Bella. Edward stops James from further harming Bella and his brothers kill him with help of Alice. James was ripped apart and his body parts were burned to ashes. This upsets Victoria and her revenge for his murder is the main plots of Eclipse.
In New Moon, Victoria is only mentioned in the book and appears a few times in the film. Months after James's death, she plots to kill Bella to make Edward go through the emotional pain that she felt. In her plot, she locates Laurent in Denali and asks him to find out if the Cullens are still living in Forks. Though she found out Bella was now alone, Laurent never reported back about the new werewolf pack since they killed him before he had a chance to. She then decides to make her own move on Bella. However, she is constantly thwarted by the Quileute wolves, and the self-preserving desire forces her to retreat.
In Eclipse, Victoria plays a major role in Eclipse as the main antagonist. She creates an army of newborns — newly-turned vampires in Seattle in hopes of using the numbers to get past the Cullen family and the wolves and finally kill Bella as well as destroy the rest of her enemies, an idea she picked up while in Texas when she encountered such an army: to keep the Cullens in the dark about her involvement, she constantly appears alone in the area thinking as little about the army as possible.
They eventually figure out Victoria's plan and a fight soon ensues between the Cullens with the shape-shifters against her army, and Bella, Edward and Seth against Victoria and Riley, a newborn whom she claims to love. Edward provokes Victoria by telling her that James was only interested in her talent, to know where a safe place is. The Cullens and the werewolves manage to kill the Seattle newborn army, Riley, and Victoria.