Author's Note: Okay, so I'll start off with an apology. I'm so incredibly sorry that I haven't updated anything sooner. I've had absolutely horrible writer's block for the past few weeks and haven't been able to get ANYTHING done because of it. It's downright awful O.o". Anyways! I finally got past my horrible block and produced this chapter. I'd like to thank Silvershadow13 for the help with my title problem, however, me being a total idiot forgot to mention in my desperate cry for help that I meant it to be Italians, as in "there are two Italian people", very specifically two. But thank you for helping anyways ^^. I mentioned last chapter that I'd say why I'm using Romano and not Lovino. Not that it's been brought up, but I'd just like to point it out so that I don't get people asking me ^_^". I'm using Romano because first of all, it's a real Italian name while Lovino isn't... And secondly it just sounds better. So yeah, basically just a personal preference for this particular fic. I actually really liked writing this chapter, it was fun to write. Hope it's not confusing though O.o"... Anyways, enjoy~

A dog barked from far off in the distance. It was a big dog, I could tell, probably a Rottweiler or mastiff or some other fucking scary beast. However, I didn't care whether it was a Chihuahua or a pit bull, it had woken me up and that's all that mattered. I sat up and ran a hand through my hair. It was messy from sleeping and I attempted to pat it down even though there was no need to.

That damn dog wouldn't shut up.

The room was pitch black; I couldn't even see my own hand in front of me. I clenched my hand into a fist, looking placidly forward, trying to focus on it.

The dog continued to bark.

I couldn't take it anymore. In an angry motion I threw up the covers. Grabbing the .22 pistol I stowed underneath my pillow I stalked towards my door, flinging it open with a bang and stormed towards the front door. Hearing my commotion, Antonio shuffled out of his room and stared at me in shock. He was wearing only his tomato print boxers and looked drowsy from sleep.

"Roma? What's going on?" he asked, looking confused, rubbing his eyes.

"That... That fucking dog!" I stammered, checking to make sure there were bullets in the gun. My entire body was on fire with annoyance.

"What? A Dog?" Antonio strained to hear the dog barking off in the distance.

"It won't fucking stop barking! I can't take it anymore!" I breathed, opening the door and storming into the cool night air.

"Roma!" cried Antonio, chasing after me. I refused to hear him as I sprinted through the empty streets. The dog continued to bark but I knew I was getting closer. Soon it would all be over. It was then that I saw it: the German shepherd was behind a fence and chained to the wall, it's dark eyes boring towards me as he continued his onslaught of barking. There didn't seem to be anyone around. A perfect chance to finally rid the world of this pest of a dog.

"There you are," I whispered partially to myself as I pointed the pistol at the dog. Threatened, the animal growled darkly at me, baring his teeth towards me. I cocked the gun, my hand shaking tremulously.

"NO ROMA DON'T DO IT!" the six-foot, one hundred forty-five pound man tackled me to the ground with all of his strength. A gunshot rang through the air as my finger slipped and we fell to the ground. It echoed, the single shot bolting into the great expanse of the sky.

The dog had stopped barking, he merely stared at us in curious fear.

"What the FUCK!" I shouted, shoving him off of me in my anger. "Why the fuck did you stop me, Antonio?" I screamed.

"It's just a dog, Roma," panted Antonio, sitting on the ground and regaining his breath. "Don't take your anger out on the dog. I know what you're going through is tough bu-"

"You know what I'm going through? You know what I'm going through! HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW!" I threw the gun down to the ground, the feeling of the cold metal against my skin made me feel sick. I stared at him, trying to read his expression. "How the fuck do you know what I'm going through?"

Antonio's gaze softened and he looked down at the ground solemnly. "I… I don't know what you're going through. I'm trying to be empathetic," he admitted pitifully.

I snorted. "Don't try to be empathetic with me. You make yourself look like a dumbass when you do," I couldn't help but smile at the insult. Antonio chuckled a bit with me, leaning his head back and staring up at the stars with an awestricken expression.

"But-" Antonio cut himself off and he looked sheepishly down at the ground. "But I want to help you, Roma," he mumbled. I turned to him and felt my heart break a bit on the inside at his disheartened expression.

"There's nothing you can do to help me, Antonio," I smiled sadly at the ground. "The family is my responsibility now. That asshole today was right, I need to step up if I want to be anything like gramps," I clenched my fist onto my clothes, wringing out my anger into the fabric.

"You can't listen to what that guy says about you though, Roma. He's just trying to intimidate you," said Antonio softly.

"Maybe that's what I need," I sighed, shrugging. I glanced over at the dog; his vicious features had turned softer. He wasn't so frightening anymore. "Point of the matter is…" I mumbled to myself, standing up.

"E-eh! Where are you going, Roma?" Antonio scrambled up. "I won't let you hurt that dog!" he cried, looking frightened. I glanced over at the Spaniard and rolled my eyes.

"I'm not going to kill him now," I explained. "However," I didn't finish my sentence as I threw open the gate to the house. The dog barked meekly at me as I stormed up to the door and pounded my fist into it. "OPEN UP YOU FUCKING BASTARD!" I shouted angrily. I needed to take my anger out on someone and this seemed all too fitting. There was a moment's wait as the sounds of various locks being undone were heard. The door clicked slowly open and the bald head of a man appeared on the other side, the chain still in place.

"Is something the matter?" asked the man, his voice weak and frail. I could tell that he was an old man by the way he spoke. His gray eyes stared into mine in wonder.

"Is this your fucking dog?" I grumbled, pointing towards the beast accusingly. The man's eyes shifted back and forth and he nodded.

"Yeah, that's my dog," he assured, his wrinkled fingers curling around the door.

"Can you tell it to fucking shut up? I can't sleep," I tried to remain calm but it was proving to be a hard task.

"O-oh," the man looked embarrassed. "Well, Julius is a bit… er… hard to handle," mumbled the man.

"I don't fucking care if he's hard to handle. Goddammit, if you don't get him to stop barking I won't hold back in shooting him!" I snapped.

"Whoa whoa!" Antonio pushed me away from the opening as the man's face turned to one of horror as he realized what the gunshot had been only a minute earlier. "Heh heh, I'm sorry about my boss' behavior. He's just a little grumpy from being woken up," he laughed sheepishly.

"Don't fucking block me, Antonio, I need to tell this guy off for ruining my fucking sleep!" I shouted angrily.

Antonio turned to me with a disgruntled look that would be given to a child that was seriously pissing him off. I was momentarily caught off guard by this expression and stopped my outburst, staring at him in shock.

"I didn't know that Julius caused so many troubles, I'm deeply sorry," said the man. "What'd you say your name was again, young man?" he asked. This out-of-the-fucking-blue question made me hesitate. I didn't think this man really needed to know who I was but I shrugged the thought off.

"I'm Romano Vargas, why does it matter?" I grumbled. Without even a hint of a goodbye the door was slammed in our faces. Antonio and I stood there for a moment, stunned at the man's rudeness.

"WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?" I yelled. "Is it that much of a trouble for you to train your damn dog!" I complained, pounding my fist on the door.

"G-go away! Leave me alone!" cried the man, he had already finished locking the door.

"Listen I don't know what your fucking problem is. Honestly, I don't fucking care. But if you don't straighten out your dog, I'll put a bullet in it's goddamn head," I growled.

"I can't be seen talking to you! Go away! Take my dog, kill my dog, whatever, just leave me alone!" cried the man. I could envision him cowering in a fetal position, crying his eyes out. It made me feel sick inside.

"Seen by who?" questioned Antonio, leaning towards the door to hear better.

"They'll kill me! If they see me talking to you, Romano Vargas the new head of the Vargas family. They'll kill me!" he sobbed.

"Calm down, man, who's going to kill you?" I grumbled.

"I can't tell you, GO AWAY!" I could hear the stifled cries of the man from behind the door. I shared a confused look with Antonio.

"We can offer protection, if you only tell us wh-"


"Fuck it," I snapped, storming off of the porch and stalking down the street.

"Wait! R-Roma! Where are you going!" cried Antonio, stumbling after me.

"Home, where does it look like, dumbass?" I grumbled, shoving my hands in my pocket.

"Don't you want to know why that guy's being threatened? What if he ends up dead? Won't it be our fault that we didn't help him?" questioned Antonio.

"I tried to persuade him to tell us, he wasn't going to budge. I don't fucking care as long as his dog doesn't wake me up anymore," I sighed, looking darkly at the ground. "A lot of people are going to die and it's going to be our fault, being in this business, you should know that, Antonio," I whispered, glancing back at him. He looked at me with a solemn expression.

"It just doesn't feel right, leaving him alone," mumbled Antonio, looking upset.

"Don't worry about it," I groaned. "Whatever it is, it's not our problem right now, so we shouldn't make it our problem, got it?" I warned, leveling him a look to further enforce my point. Antonio gulped and nodded.

We finally arrived back at home. I was now totally fucking tired. It couldn't have been past 4:00 in the morning and already this day was as bad as the one before. Walking up the perfectly paved steps, past the sculpted bushes and level grass felt like an eternity in itself. I felt like a damn hypocrite, there I was, telling Antonio not to worry about what the man had said, and now I can't get those same thoughts out of mine. Antonio opened the door for me, looking slightly worried.

"You don't look too good, Romano," he mumbled, locking the door behind him.

"I'm sick of you being in those damn tomato boxers," I hissed, pressing my cool hand on my forehead. What had he meant by all of that? How is it possible that a stranger I don't even know has already discovered that I'm the new boss? There aren't many conflicting families in this area, so who wouldn't be able to even talk to me? It's all too fucking confusing. I sat down in the antique suede chair that resided in the living room. Antonio took a seat on the couch, folding his hands on his lap and saying nothing.

"You should get some sleep, Roma," mumbled Antonio after a long minute of silence.

"I don't want to fucking sleep," I growled.

"There's no use thinking about it now, you said so yourself," sighed Antonio.

"I want to be alone," I said, glaring over at him. "And since you obviously can't get the point I'll say it straight: get the fuck out," I said coldly, my words slicing through the air and hitting Antonio straight on. He seemed genuinely hurt by my cruel words and he looked morosely down at his hands before standing up.

"If anything happens, I'll be here, Roma," he said softly.

"Don't give me that bullshit, I already know," I propped my leg on the other and leaned against my hand, staring at the wall. I heard his retreating footsteps and the closing click of his bedroom door. I wanted to figure everything out. The answers were there, I knew they were, but something was missing; something important that I needed to figure out. I wasn't able to consider what that could possibly be for sleep was overcoming me.

The last thing I heard before I slipped into unconsciousness was the distant barking of a dog.