Although Bobby Marsino's fondest memories are of his "Mom" baking Christmas cookies, he grew up in a tough neighborhood in upstate New York where he learned to survive. The people Bobby referred to as his parents (his aunt and uncle) retired to upstate New York, where his aunt still resided at the time of Bobby's death, though his uncle had died.
Fast-forward to 2003, and rich girl, Brittany Hodges, bored with college and her job at the Jabot Boutique, and always dreaming of the spotlight, was enticed by Bobby Marsino to sing at his club. She was shocked to discover it was a "Gentleman's Club," but Bobby assured her she didn't have to strip to sing on stage. Britt took him up on the offer and became a torch singer going by the name Marilyn. Halfway through her first song, the crowd started cheering for her to strip, and she reluctantly did. The tips were fabulous, at around $1000 a night, and she loved the attention, so she kept it up, buying the costumes and working out elaborate acts. Her boyfriend Raul found out, sat in the audience, then rushed the stage, covering her and dragging her off. Raul was aghast and demanded she choose him or the job. Britt chose her new career, never really believing Raul wouldn't accept it eventually, but Raul moved into another room and broke it off. Brittany's father took some out-of-town-clients to the club at their behest, discovered his daughter and, unbeknownst to Britt, was thrown out of the club when he made a scene.
Giving up on convincing Brittany to quit stripping, Frederick pulled a setup with Raul to get caught drinking underage at the club to shut it down. During his hiatus from running the club, Bobby hung out at the Athletic Club and made friends with Jill Abbott. Semi-drunk and lonely, she invited him back to her estate. Bobby had a drink with her there, but rebuffed her advances. They continue to meet occasionally as friends.
Bobby fell for the much younger Brittany, who was very vulnerable with everyone she loved being against her new life. Marsino's opened again, but Britt was hesitant to return, so Bobby promised to hook her up with someone who could help her singing career. Meanwhile Bobby's boss, Sal Staley, and the mob boss, Bertolli Lewis, were looking for revenge on her father, Fredrick, for getting the club in trouble with the law. Sal approached Bobby's partner, Angelo, who apparently used to be a hit man in the mob, to help. Not long afterward Brittany was electrocuted by the stripper pole during her act and severely burned the entire right side of her face. Bobby and Raul stayed at her side throughout her recovery, but she was told she would be scarred for life. Since Brittany had recovered and was falling in love with Bobby, Raul vowed to stick by her until he found a remedy for her scar. After encouraging her to return to the stage just to sing, Bobby turned his strip joint into a cabaret called Marilyn's (after Brittany's stage name), just for Britt. This angered the mob boss, Mr. Lewis, so Sal and his thugs cornered Bobby in the club, ready to kill him to teach him a lesson. But Bobby was wearing a wire and the police hauled them off to jail after Bobby got them to admit several crimes, including the electrocution of Britt and a couple murders.
Bobby, finally free of the mob, decided to "go legit" by turning Marsino's Strip Club into Marilyn's Cabaret, headlined by singer Brittany a.k.a. "Marilyn." Unfortunately he didn't have the cash to carry it off so was doing strip nights as well, and brought in Nikki Newman as a consultant and emcee to give it class. Brittany finally gave in to Bobby, told him she loved him, too, and they became lovers. Bobby proposed, Britt's friends disapproved, and she didn't dare tell her parents they were engaged. Meanwhile the steadfast Raul found Britt a plastic surgeon to restore her burned face; she had the surgery, and awaited the result. But Raul saw the writing on the wall, bid everyone farewell, and left for Boston and his scholarship to Pemberton College. Britt's surgery was successful, and the scar was hardly noticeable with the right makeup. Her parents were aghast to find out that she was marrying Bobby, but came through for her at the last minute, and attended the small wedding at the Chancellor Estate. Fredrick walked her down the aisle and slipped Bobby a check with a warning to "take care of my little girl, or else." The newlyweds spent a few days in the Genoa City Hotel Bridal Suite, then moved into the Newman Ranch while awaiting renovations on Bobby's condo.
Nikki began having strange flashes of childhood memories upon visiting the Recreation Center where her abusive father Nick used to work when it was a paint factory. The flashes escalated after the skeleton of a child was found when the Rec Center broke ground for a pool. With Paul's investigative help, Nikki recalled herself at 5 years old, and her best friend Joshua Cassen, fighting over her father's gun, the gun going off, and Joshua being shot. Apparently Nick Reed had buried the body behind the paint factory, and Nikki had blocked out the memory all those years until the skeleton was found. Nikki became obsessed with finding Joshua's younger brother Charles "Charlie" Robert Cassen, once Paul told her the family had moved away to Cleveland, never knowing what happened to their missing son.
One day Nikki told Bobby about it, not mentioning any names or the birthday party. Bobby said he understood. He explained that he was once a toddler named Charlie Cassen, whose 5-year-old brother, Joshua, disappeared. His mother went into depression and became overprotective of her remaining son, and his father became an alcoholic. His family was so devastated that they moved to Cleveland. Both parents were killed in a car crash caused by his father driving drunk. Charlie was sent to live with his Uncle Al and Aunt Betty Marsino in upstate New York. He returned to Genoa City as Bobby Marsino, a teenager that his uncle didn't want around, and was a go-for at the Bayou during Nikki Newman's stripper days. He used to sneak out from the back and admire her from afar.
Overcome with guilt, Nikki was hesitant to tell Bobby about what really happened to his brother. Because she was stressing over it so, and Bobby was concerned about her behavior, Victor finally told Bobby the truth. Bobby had it out with Nikki, left town for a while, but he returned, and Nikki showed him the home movie of Joshua from her fifth birthday party. Brittany was none too pleased with how it brought Nikki and Bobby together, and they moved out of the ranch into their own dingy apartment not long after she discovered she was pregnant.
Running short on cash, and refusing to let Brittany work, Bobby took a job tending bar at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Due to the increasing debt caused by Brittany's hospitalization with pregnancy complications, he accepted "three large" from the mob to hold a stash of diamonds. Britt found out, so Bobby told the mob he would no longer do anything illegal, but would somehow repay them. They decided to name the baby Joshua after Bobby's deceased brother, and both were excited about the birth. They began receiving mysterious baby gifts that turned out to be from Vinny Trabuco and Angelo as a threat to Bobby to return to the mob. Bobby went along with them, trying to get evidence to expose them.
To keep them away from Brittany and her unborn baby, they set it up to look like J.T. was the father, and Bobby and Brittany staged a split. Nikki started nosing around and uncovered the plot, and ended up getting kidnapped by Vinny's goon, Luca. Paul, Victor, and Bobby rescued Nikki while J.T. took a distraught Britt to the Newman Ranch. Luckily Mac showed up as Brittany went into labor, and Mac delivered the two-month premature baby, Joshua.
Vinny, Angelo, and his goon ended up in jail, Brittany and the baby in the hospital, and Bobby turned over his evidence on the mob and went into the witness protection program, leaving Brittany and Joshua behind. Months went by, and finally Brittany shared a short visit with the heavily guarded Bobby. Not long afterward, she received word that Bobby had been killed by a hit and run driver. Brittany was devastated, and she and Joshua ending up moving to New York City with her parents.