"You don't have to remind me of that every time, son. This isn't our first mark, and it won't be our last," Dr. Evans replies. Rhea understands what this is now. It's how Dr. Evans imagines it will be once he has the kids under his control. Even so, only in his dreams would he ever be able to call Colton "son" without getting hit. Colton replies with a terse nod, showing that he doesn't desire to return the feeling.
I would like to substitute the phrase "return the feeling" for another word, but I don't know of one that would fit. At first, I considered using the word reciprocate, but it didn't seem correct in context.
Which word could be used here?