Declarations of love are a staple in fiction and they vary enormously according to author, audience, characters and situation. We mostly think of such effusions as romantic. We hope they're truthful, and we hope (usually) that they'll be made and received in a positive manner. Love's not always romantic though, so not all the declarations in this sub-set will be between romantic partners. This one is from a young man to one of the three girls who brightened his college years. Now in their late twenties, Zach and Mab have met up for coffee. They are discussing Mab's soon-to-be-ex boyfriend.
Mab said, "He’s gone off the boil. Never was more than a mild simmer. Zachie—” She flashed him a hundred-watt grin.
“No. That ship sailed long ago.”
“It needn’t have, you know,” Mab said.
“If we haven’t become a couple by now we never will. I do love you, Mab. You’re gorgeous but not unattainable.”
“So why have you never attained me?”
“Because of the way I love you. You’re mine in a special way. I don’t ever want to lose that.”
She drained her coffee and said sweetly, “You never will lose me. Pact, right? No matter who we’re with, in the end, we’re forever friends. We’ve got one another’s backs.”
“What if your next SO doesn’t like the idea of me as your forever friend?” Zach asked.
“If he’s that insecure I’m out of there. And you…when you find your happy-ever-after, she’s got to be okay with me. If she’s not, she’s not your HEA.”
He grinned at her. “Pact.”“Pact."
Zach and Mab are one of my favourite non-couples. By the end of the book Mab is happily in love with someone else and Zach is in "It's complicated" land with a very strange young woman. Luckily, Zach likes strange. Read about it in Man Overboard... but only if you're 18+. Because of my habit of intertwining stories, Zach and Mab appear in their college days in Honey and the Harvest Hob and Mab shows up to meet her new beloved in Horizontal Bunny Hop.