She laughed like an angel. A beautiful, perfect…I am so in love with you. Get a grip, Nick….Get a grip…. (1.96-1.98)
There is plenty of romantic love in this novel, too, if that's more your thing. Nick falls for Nekoda at first sight. Is it destiny? Or is it lust, because Nick is only fourteen? Or is everybody wrong when they say that teenagers only know about lust and infatuation and not about love?
As soon as her parents had learned she was pregnant, they'd offered her one choice. Give up the baby or give up her nice home in Kenner, her education, her family. For reasons he still didn't understand, she'd chosen him. (1.37)
There are a lot of types of love represented in this book, not just romantic love. The love between Nick's mom and her son is very prominent. She loves him unconditionally.
"You are my little man, Nickyboo. And I'm so grateful I have you. You're the only thing I've ever done right in my entire life and if anything ever happened to you, they'd have to dig two graves 'cause I couldn't live a single day without my baby beside me." (2.137)
Okay, Nick's mom loves him. That's sweet. But this is a little intense, and it maybe borders on co-dependency. How will Nick's mom react when he finally moves out of her house? Maybe they both have a little growing up to do.
"Honestly, you have no idea how much your parents love you until something happens to you—then it's too late." (6.91)
We're not sure what Kyrian means here. What happened to him? Why is it too late? Does this have to do with immortality, and dying to achieve it? Perhaps he was able to see how his parents grieved for him after his own "death." That would be difficult to witness.
That was the one order Caleb couldn't understand. Again, he would attribute it to love, but there was no way the Malachai could love anything except himself and his quest for power. (11.39)
Adarian wanting to protect Nick's mother is suspicious. Maybe he does actually love her, in his own twisted way, because there doesn't seem to be a practical reason to keep her alive. At least that we know of. Or maybe it's just about power, as usual.
Caleb would accuse [Adarian] of loving the boy, but he knew better. This wasn't about love. It was about power. (11.29)
Nick's father isn't capable of love. Caleb makes an interesting observation that love and power are basically mutually exclusive. Some people will sacrifice their loved ones for power, which means they didn't love them that much to begin with.
I have to save myself. More than that, he had to save the ones he loved. Before it was too late. (13.176-13.177)
Nick shouldn't be worried about becoming his father, because here is a major reason why the two of them are different. Nick is motivated to preserve the wellbeing of others. Adarian only cares about himself. Night and day, folks.
"I'm trying to calm you down, love. You shouldn't do this to yourself. It pains me to see you suffer like this." (13.171)
This is the goddess Artemis speaking to Ambrose—i.e., future Nick. Is love just a pet name, or is it possible for a goddess to love someone who is essentially her manservant?
It wasn't just the emotion, it was the sensation of his arm around her. (14.231)
Before things can get too sappy, we have Nick's romantic feelings for Nekoda resurfacing. They're a classic Romeo and Juliet type couple. Even though Nick doesn't know it, Nekoda may have to eventually kill them. That's about as star-crossed as two people can get.
You love her, Nick sent his thoughts to Ambrose. Ambrose nodded, then met his gaze so that Nick could see the sincerity burning in his eyes. "I would do anything to keep her safe. Anything to keep you on the right path." (16.49)
This should be a clue to Nick that Ambrose is really his future self. Who else would have Nick's mom as his number one priority other than Nick himself?