The thing about Nick was that he liked to gloss over the truth. Gloss was actually too mild a word for what Nick did. Truth was a malleable thing to him -- as long as a few elements of the original story remained, he liked to think he was telling a version of the truth. He deluded himself like that about a lot of things -- as long as he told someone about an indiscretion, he was being faithful; as long as he gave some small part of his take away, he wasn't stealing; as long as he was coherent enough to carry on a conversation, he wasn't high.
So when Kevin asked him if he'd gotten the cash for the pills from McLean, he said just "Yes." Only later on did Kevin find out that Nick had only gotten some cash from McLean -- certainly not all that Kevin was owed -- and had spent part of that on some blow for himself on the way back. But by the time Kevin found out, he was already mellow and sated from Nick's talented mouth on his dick, and it didn't seem worth it to do anything about it.
"Don't pull that shit again," he said without even raising his head. "I know he's small time, but we have a reputation."
"Sure," said Nick, uncurling his body from Kevin's and pulling his tight jeans back on. He looked fucking strung out, not his usual solid self. Kevin wondered how long that had been going on, and for a second he thought to check Nick's arms before that, too, seemed like too much effort to bother with.
It wasn't a secret why he kept Nick around, called him a "partner" even though the only place he truly was that was in bed. And even then, partner was probably the absolute wrong word to use. Nick was probably the only one who didn't know.
"I'm going to get something to eat," said Nick. "You want anything?"
"Nah," said Kevin, beckoning him back. "And you're gonna stay here too, Nicky. The only thing you gotta worry your pretty little head about right now is how we're gonna do it next."
He noticed Nick hesitate, but it wasn't a surprise. The only thing Nick paid as much attention to as his sex drive was his appetite. Really, things might go smoother if Kevin didn't send him out on errands anymore, just kept him around the house and made him feel useful there. He loathed people who didn't pull their weight, but there were plenty of other ways for Nick to do it for him.
"I promise to come right back," Nick said finally, his hand still on the button of his jeans. "I gotta eat something Kevin. I'll bring you a burger, how about. Double-patty, no pickles, just the way you like it."
Kevin sighed and waved him off; if Nick wanted it that bad, Nick was gonna have it, one way or another. "Hurry back," he said, though. Now that the thought had been put in his head, he really was hungry. Even for the greasy take-out that Nick was bound to come back with.
Nick gave him a cocky grin and went out just the way he was, shirtless and tousled, his pants tight enough to need to be peeled off. And Kevin was reminded all over again why he kept Nick around, because there wasn't much that was hotter than that.
He came back with BK from up the street; Kevin could smell it before he even got into the room. "Sorry it took so long," he said around a mouthful of burger. "They weren't gonna serve me without a shirt, but I convinced 'em." Kevin just bet he did; Nick could charm the pants off a nun. "Here's your burger."
He tossed him the bag, which Kevin fumbled to catch as he finally sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Double patty, no pickles. Just the way he liked it.
Nick was too busy scarfing down the rest of his food to say much, and Kevin tried not to watch him. Nick was pretty, yes, but not when he was eating. Instead, he just polished off his own burger and tossed the bag into the garbage across the room. He missed.
"I'm just gonna wash up," said Nick, licking his fingers and tossing his own bag away. Perfect shot. "And then I can show you just what a good meal does for my energy. Huh, Kevin?" Kevin had to agree, he looked healthier already. "Hope you liked the burger."
He started to feel strange about ten minutes after Nick left. And where the hell did he go to wash up, anyway? Back to BK? It started in his arms and legs, a faint tingling feeling like they were going to sleep. Then he could feel it in his chest, a slow constriction that made it more and more difficult to breathe. And then in his neck. And then his heart.
As he collapsed back onto the bed and used his last few moments to reflect on how badly he'd underestimated his partner, he wondered if Nick was off somewhere telling himself he hadn't really killed Kevin, because he hadn't been there when he died.