Marley turned as the door of the Cafe opened and saw a beautiful brunette cat in a gorgeous Scarlett dress and light green eyes. "Good evening, Mrs. M." Sierra said cheerfully. "Sierra. How are you tonight sweetie?" the cat asked. "Very good ma'am. Just closing up shop." Sierra flung a towel over her shoulder and looked at Marley. "Who is your friend dear?" M asked. "This is my friend I was telling you about, Marley Dash. Marley, this is Mitzi May but we just call her Miss M." "Charmed. Charmed." Marley said nervously.

"Why don't you ladies join me downstairs and have a drink or two?" M asked. The two smiled at each other and followed Mitzi down the steps of a dim-lit cellar to a door with an ace marking on it. A chubby gray and white cat stood in front of the door. His eyes shot to the three ladies, "Miss M, Sierra, madam." "Evening Horatio." Sierra said, "This is my friend Marley. She wants to work here." "Oh! The very best of luck to you miss." Bruno bowed and kissed Marley's hand.

Marley did the same to him before entering into a gorgeous ballroom-like area. Marley looked around awestruck at the place. Soft jazz was playing on stage. A short orange cat and a brown cat were dancing on the stage together. Marley's tail swayed to the music. The three ladies sat down at a bar with a well-dressed Siamese and an intimidating orange tiger were at. "Good evening, ladies." the Siamese said taking his hat off. "Mr. Sable, you remember Ms. Sierra Serval." Mitzi said, placing a hand on Sierra's shoulder. "Of course." Sable said.

"Sir. Victor." Sierra turned to the tiger, which everyone shrank back from due to his glare. Marley cleared her throat and straightened up, "Good evening, sirs. My name is Marley Dash. I'd like to work here." "We're not hiring." Victor said angrily. "Now hold on honey, we've been looking for a new waitress. Not that many folks come here anymore." Mitzi explained, "You see Ms. Dash, my husband Atlas was the head of this establishment before he was..." Mitzi looked sadly at her necklace.

Marley frowned, "It's ok Ma'am. You don't need to explain. If it makes you feel better, I've had my fair share of loss too. In a rather horrific way." Mitzi looked at her with concern, "Horrific? Define Horrific. If it's not too painful." Just as Marley was beginning to speak the orange and brown cat came up to them, giggling, followed by a tall, smoking, bobcat and a gray cat dressed in a white and blue tuxedo. Marley and the gray cat locked eyes and smiled at each other. "Oh um, hi there." the gray said. "Hello." Marley said, shyly.

Sierra shook her head and rolled her eyes. The brown cat hopped onto a chair next to Marley, "Hi there, I'm Ivy Pepper. What's your name?" Marley looked slightly shocked, "Marley. Marley dash." "Ivy, sweetie, let's not make our new guest feel...unwelcome now." Mitzi said, shooing Ivy away. Sierra chuckled, "Before anything else is said or done, I believe introductions are in order. You've already met Horatio, Mitzi, and Ivy here. Allow me to introduce everyone else."

Sierra turned to the Siamese, "This is Sedgewick Sable or Wick, he's the owner of Sable Quarry." "I've been around there before." Marley said, shaking Wick's hand. Sierra looked at Victor, "Victor Vasko, he's the bartender." The tiger looked away scornfully. "Calvin McMurry or Freckle as we call him." Sierra gestured to the orange cat, who bowed respectively. "Dorian Zibowski or Zib, he's leader of the band." Sierra smiled at the bobcat who winked at her. "And finally, Rocky Rickaby, he's Freckle's cousin." "Hi! Rocky!" Rocky said, nervously.

Marley and Rocky smiled and shook hands. "That's one heck of a violin." Marley said. Rocky smiled brighter, "Thanks! I learned to play from my mom." "That's sweet." Marley looked away and smiled again. "She got sick with Scarlett Fever and passed away." Rocky said sadly. "I'm sorry for your loss." Marley said. "So, Ms. Dash. How are you enjoying Mississippi so far?" Ivy asked. "Just trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle." Nearly everyone chuckled. "Good luck, this whole city's nothing but that." Wick said.

"You look worn out Ms. Dash. Would care for a cigarette or something." Zib's asked, holding out a cigar. Marley leaned back with a look of horror and fell out of her seat. Everyone gasped, "Are you ok?!" Freckle asked. "Yeah! Yeah! Just lost my balance! Nothing to worry about!" Marley said, rubbing her head. "I didn't scare you, did I?" Zib asked, concerned. Marley sighed, "I'm sorry. I have a grudge against cigarettes. Remember when I said I had my fair share of loss?" Marley said. "Yes, you were just going to tell us about that." Mitzi said.

Marley took a deep breath, "My father you see, was a heavy smoker. He started when my mother died of TB. Tuberculosis, when I was 5. 3 years later, he fell asleep one night in his chair with a cigar in his hand. The cigar fell to the floor and lit our house on fire. I was able to escape through my window and I got a nasty gash from it on my arm." Marley turned over her right arm to show a massive scar. "I was able to get to the fire department but...I guess the fire could spread faster than I could run.

The house was saved but my father...when they found him...he wasn't...himself. Physically himself. I couldn't even recognize him." Everyone was horrified. "Oh my heavens! That's horrible!" Mitzi said, covering her mouth. 'It's not all bad. I learned what smoking could do to people. Sure I was hurt by my parents' deaths, but I decided to learn from my past. This scar is a reminder that smoking kills." "Eh. We all have our scars Ms. Dash." Victor replied, "Both physically and mentally."

"Sorry, didn't mean to bring down the mood." Marley said, nervously. "I'm glad you told us sweetie. It's important to know each other's fears and doubts. That way we can learn to work around them. This builds up trust and friendship amongst us." Mitzi explained. "Trust is key." Marley nodded. "You know what, you put off the right kind of vibe Ms. Dash so how about you join us here at Lackadaisy. Let Sierra show you how we do things." Marley gasped, "Really? Thank you, Ms. M! You won't regret this! I swear it!"

"We have to celebrate!" Ivy cheered. "Care for a dance Ms. Dash?" Rocky asked. Marley giggled "Sure." She took his hand and he led her to the dance floor. Freckle and Ivy joined them shortly later.