Truths & Chains – Chapter Twenty-Five

A/N: Full disclosure, this is the last completed chapter I have written. Writing has been very slow and very difficult for me for quite sometime all across the board, so if there isn’t an update next week, that’s why. I’m doing my best to finish chapter twenty-six as soon as I can. Thank you in advance for your patience.**


Dude in tow, Vito walked into his parents’ house. He offered a little courtesy knock on the wall. “It’s me, not a burglar.”

“Ah, good. Was pretty damn worried,” Dad said as he walked into the foyer. “I see you’ve brought a friend.”

“Yeah. This is Dude. He’s, like… legally your grandson now.”

Dad smiled. “Ti said you rescued one of those dogs from the fight ring, but I wasn’t sure I believed him. My Vito, taking care of another living creature?”

Vito snorted. “Yeah, sounds fuckin’ weird, huh?”

“A little. Sometimes I worry you don’t really know how to take care of yourself, let alone someone or something else.” Dad looked down at Dude. “Is he friendly?”

“Long as you’re not a shoe, totally.”

Dad chuckled softly, shaking his head. He squatted down in front of Dude and stuck a hand out. Even though Dude didn’t move closer to him, Dad kept his hand out, completely undeterred. “How have things been going with him?”

“He’s destroyed more of my house than I’m willing to admit, but I like having him around anyway. We came to an… understanding this morning, I think. He finally figured out that I’m not like those bastards that hurt him. We connected or something like that.”

“That’s great, kiddo. Sounds like you’re already doing wonders for the big guy.” Dad smiled as Dude nudged his hand with his nose. Dad scratched the top of the dog’s head, gaze lifting to Vito’s face again. “How’s your anger around him?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said he’s destroyed a lot of things. How’d you respond?”

Vito shrugged. “Well as I could, I guess. I didn’t yell at him. I was more… offended than angry.”

“That’s good. Maybe he’s helping you out too,” Dad said. Gently, he patted the side of Dude’s head and pushed himself to his feet. “Your mom’s in the kitchen, but I think you should go see your brother first.”


Dad’s expression softened further, if that was even possible. “Vito, I know you struggle with feelings and emotions, especially the ones belonging to your brother, but he isn’t exactly going through an easy time right now.”

“Well… yeah. He was shot.”

“That is unfortunately far from the only thing going on, Vi.”

Vito’s brow furrowed. “Okay. Umm… do you wanna hold onto Dude?”

“Sure, kiddo.” Dad took the dog’s leash and, after some encouraging, bribed Dude into the kitchen with the promise of food. Vito kicked off his shoes and made his way back to the guest bedroom he and Tito always stayed in when they visited.

Tito sat propped up on the bed, eyes focused on the window across the room. Vito leaned in for a better look, but he didn’t see anything more than slightly snow-covered trees. He rapped two knuckles on the open door.

“Come in,” Tito mumbled.

“Already did.”

Tito turned to look at him, a smile jumping to his face. Even Vito knew it was forced. “Hey, baby brother.”

“Hey.” Vito cleared his throat, taking a small step into the room. “Bo tell you about what’s going on?”

“Yeah. Our only lead’s dead, we’re being framed for it, and they’re dragging our name through the mud even more than usual.”

Vito nodded. “Yeah, that about sums it up.” He crossed the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. “So… how’re you doing?”

“I’m okay. If one of us doesn’t get shot or stabbed, has it really been a month in our lives?”

“Guess not.” Vito rubbed his hands together before clasping them between his knees. “You, like… don’t have to be okay, though. You know, if that’s, umm… difficult right now.”

Tito raised a brow. “Who sent you in to talk to me, Vi?”

“Dad. But I was gonna come talk to you anyway.”

“Yeah? To talk about my feelings? Because that doesn’t really seem like you.”

“It’s not my fault I don’t fuckin’ get this shit.”

Tito shook his head. “I’m not saying it is. I’m just saying I doubt you would’ve come in here for that if Dad hadn’t made you.” He cleared his throat, turning back toward the window. “How’s the dog?”

For a fleeting moment, Vito considered ignoring the question and pushing further, but if he had a chance not to pretend he knew what to say or how to feel, he’d take it. “He’s good. I think we had a real breakthrough this morning.”

“Yeah? What kind of breakthrough?”

“He accepted a treat from me. Not from my hand, but he ate it right next to my hand. I don’t know if it’s the tattoos or the accent that concern him a little bit, but he’s starting to figure out I’m not gonna hurt him. Fingers crossed he figures out how to stop destroying the house now.”

“Have you gotten him any chew toys?”

“I… got him food and a bed.”

Tito turned back to his brother, one corner of his mouth lifted in the smallest smile Vito had ever seen. If nothing else, he was pretty sure that one was genuine. “Well, that’s very Vito of you, if nothing else. But he does need a bit more than that. Toys, treats. Do you have a harness for him?”

“A collar.”

“Might wanna get a harness too. Less pressure on his throat if he pulls on the leash. Do you at least have food and water dishes?”

Vito glanced up at the ceiling. “Technically.”

“How do you ‘technically’ have food and water dishes?”

“I have a clean bucket from the shop and a cereal bowl.”

Tito laughed. “Very on brand, Vi. Good job.”

Vito smiled faintly. “If you wanted to, you could totally come with me to pick some stuff out for him. We could, like, make a day of it or something.”

Tito raised a brow. “Are you inviting me to a day out with Vito Minetti?”

After a moment, Vito nodded. “Only ‘cause it could do you some good. I still don’t wanna be seen in public with you.” He waved a hand in Tito’s direction. “All of this would totally cramp my vibe. People think I’m hot, and you’re wearing pajamas and haven’t showered in days.”

His brother snorted. “Of course. I don’t want to ruin your chances of getting laid in a Walmart.” He backhanded Vito’s knee. “How’d your apology go?”

“You really wanna hear about my sex life?”

“I hear about it anyway. This time I’m just initiating it. I think that’s somehow better.”

Vito cleared his throat, shifting on the bed. “The apology didn’t go well. I couldn’t let it go, and everything they said… You’ve met me. I took all of it the wrong way, like it was a personal attack.”

Tito nodded. “I get it. I have a hard time not taking everything as a personal attack too. I’m just a little better at burying that feeling inside instead of letting it erupt. I’m not sure which is better, honestly.” He reached back to adjust his pillows and closed his eyes as he leaned his head against the wall. “What happened after the not-well apology?”

“I moved on. Tried to go back to my usual thing, but that didn’t work.”


Vito shook his head, even though Tito wasn’t actually looking at him. “I don’t know what the hell happened. I, like, couldn’t move past it. They took a lot of work, a lot of conversation, a lot of… paying attention. I dunno. Maybe there’s some tiny icky gooey part of me that craves something a bit more… emotional than I tend to prefer.”

“And they provided it to you,” Tito said. “So did you sleep with them again?”

Vito couldn’t help but smile, glad that Tito wasn’t watching him. He didn’t want anyone to know that even thinking about Elias made him smile. Hell, Vito didn’t even want Vito to know that. “I did.”

“Vito Minetti, sleeping with the same person twice. God, when was the last time you did that?”

Vito glanced up at the ceiling. “Years. That chick who was stalking me and harassed you a couple times, thinking I had cut my hair. Sleeping with the same person twice is a bad omen.”

“But not with him?”

Vito’s eyes snapped to Tito’s face. “What?”



“Shit,” Tito whispered. “Do… you prefer ‘them’? I’m okay using that if it makes you more comfortable.”

“I’m not gay.”

“Of course you’re not. You still like women. You can have sex with whoever the hell you want. Man, woman, genderqueer. I don’t care. Gay and straight aren’t the only sexualities in the world, Vi.”

Vito raked a hand through his hair. “How… long have you known?”

“A couple months,” Tito said after a moment. “You’re not great at actually ending a phone call when I call you at a hotel room. I’ve heard you talking to a guy a time or two. I always end the call once I realize you didn’t, though.”

Vito hated the pounding of his heart, hated the tightening of his chest. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I did. I mean, I told you you needed to make sure you actually hit the end button instead of the mute button.”

“I remember that. But I mean about, umm… knowing I was screwing around with men.”

Tito offered a shrug, finally turning to face Vito again. “I wanted you to tell me when you were ready. I didn’t want to force you to come out to me. Even now, I didn’t mean to let it slip. I guess I just have a bit of a harder time filtering out what I ‘know’ and what I know right now.” He reached out and grabbed Vito’s hand, giving it a tight squeeze. “You know I don’t care, right? That I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s a phase or that it’s wrong? Because it isn’t. It’s not a phase. It’s not wrong. You liking whoever you want to like is right. Nothing more, nothing less. I love you no matter what, Vi. Your sexuality is never going to change that.”

Vito laughed, looking away as he lifted his free hand to wipe at his eyes. “God, Ti. Don’t make me have fucking feelings.”

“You need them sometimes. Deserve them. I think making you have feelings so you know I fucking love you no matter what is a good one.”

“Yeah,” Vito whispered. He wiped his cheek on his shoulder and cleared his throat before turning back to Tito. “What, umm… what did you ask before all that?”

“Sleeping with him twice isn’t a bad omen?”

“I haven’t decided yet. The dog likes him. I think if he was a super bad guy, Dude would know.”

“That’s good. Dogs have a sense of things.” Tito raised a brow. “Think you’re going to sleep with him again?”

“Only because he left me a cinnamon roll and bought a snack for Dude.”

Tito snorted. “It’s a good reason, as far as I’m concerned.” A pause. “Do you know what you like about him?”

“I dunno. I might just have a thing for people that had or have shitty parents. God knows I’d fuck Bo if he wasn’t married. Or if I could talk him and Jensen into a threesome.”

Tito choked, turning to cough into his elbow as he laughed. “Jesus Christ, Vi. Do not try to talk them into a threesome. They absolutely do not need your… energy in their sex life.”

Vito cackled. “If I thought I could, I already would have. Jensen might–I don’t know–but Bo totally wouldn’t. I don’t approach people with propositions I know have no chance.”

“That’s good, smart. Like, in all honesty, that’s good.” Tito laid a hand on his chest, drawing in a slow breath. “Does Bo know? That you’re bi, not that you want to sleep with him.”

“I’m pretty sure he knows both, but yeah, he knows. I told him not too long after I figured it out. I figured if anyone in my life was gonna get it, it’d be Bo. I-I was gonna tell Uncle Luca, since he was in the mob. He knows what it’s like to worry about what other soldiers are going to think of you. But… I dunno. I want to be able to admit I’m bisexual. Uncle Luca still sorta struggles with that, y’know?”

Tito nodded. Relief washed over Vito as some of the tension seeped out of his shoulders. Though he’d never admit it to an actual living, breathing human being, there was something about being understood that felt… warm and fuzzy and great. “I get it. He’s lived with Uncle Mal for… years, and he still has a hard time admitting he’s not straight. I think it’s probably a generational thing, and who knows what the hell he and Uncle Mal went through. Who knows how much we don’t know about.”

“Yeah, could be.” Vito shifted. “You, uh… heard from Lillian?”

Tito snorted. “You don’t have to pretend you care about any of that, Vi. I already promised I wasn’t going to talk about her anymore.”

“You did?”


Vito glanced up at the ceiling. “When?”

“Have your drugs and alcohol finally killed enough brain cells that you really can’t remember our conversations?”

Vito laughed. “Maybe.”

Unfortunately, the look on Tito’s face seemed to indicate that his comment hadn’t been a joke.

“Relax. Was I hungover?”

“Of course.”

“Figured. You know I say shit I don’t mean when I’m hungover. Usually a little hazy on those conversations too.”

Tito let out a harsh breath. “You told me I was incapable.”

“Of what?”

“Incapable of sex. Incapable. Like I’m damaged goods in your world.”

Vito cleared his throat, lifting a hand to rub the back of his neck. “That, umm… that was a real dick thing to say, Ti. I’m sorry.”


“Well, umm, you can talk about her all you want, you know. I don’t care.”

“I appreciate the offer, Vi, but I’m good. Expecting you not to get pissed off that I’m complaining about my relationship with a woman I can’t have a relationship with is unfair. Expecting anyone not to be pissed to hear about it is unfair. I love her, but my feelings about myself and the mob have made sure that the appropriate course of action is to keep my mouth shut about that feeling. That’s all there is to it. Forcing you to listen to my bullshit over and over again won’t change that.”

“If you’re sure.”

Tito smiled. “I’m sure.” He patted Vito’s arm. “Let’s go get some food, yeah?”

“Yeah, of course.” Vito pushed himself to his feet and turned to face his brother. “Can I help you up?”

“That’s okay. Go on and make your plate, and I’ll meet you out there in a few. We can turn the TV up super loud and keep Mom and Dad busy while the reporters throw their little pissy fit outside.”

Vito nodded. “Okay. If I don’t see you in five, I’m comin’ back.”

“Sounds good.”

Vito tentatively patted his brother’s shoulder. “See you in a few.” He walked out of the bedroom, closing the door behind him. Letting out a harsh breath, he made his way to the kitchen.

Dad looked up from dropping a small handful of cheese into Dude’s mouth. “How’d it go?”

“I, uh… I think I made him worse.”

After a moment, Dad nodded. “That’s not your fault. I shouldn’t have sent you in there blind.”

“We can’t expect you to be able to solve everything just because he’s your brother, either,” Mom said. She stirred whatever was on the stove one last time before turning off the burner. “You tried your best, honey. That’s all we can ask.”

One corner of Vito’s mouth lifted. “Thanks, Mom.” He reached down to scratch the top of Dude’s head. “So… food?”

Mom snorted. “Have at it, sweetheart.”

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6 thoughts on “Truths & Chains – Chapter Twenty-Five

  1. Vi and Ti bonding 🥰🥰🥰

    I’m pretty sure Bo would choke the same way Tito did if a threesome was mentioned…omg..🙈🙈🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  2. His relationship with his family is so sweet… and seriously Vito, Jensen would choke you if you ever came with a threesome proposition

    Liked by 1 person

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