Emmerdale‘s Charlotte Bellamy talks to Soaplife about how Laurel is forced to choose between two men: husband Ashley and tempting chef Marlon.

Laurel’s been playing with fire, sneaking behind Ashley’s back for snatched moments with Marlon. But when Marlon gives her an ‘it’s me or him” ultimatum it’s crunch time. “Suddenly it’s all real and she has to think about the consequences of what she’s doing,” Charlotte tells Soaplife. “Laurel’s not a bad person, but she’s fallen in love. Poor her.” And poor Ashley – or poor Marlon – too.

Why does Marlon force Laurel to choose between him and Ashley?
“It was always going to come and she’s been dreading it as she knows she’s going to have to make a decision. She’s been kidding herself she can have the best of both worlds, but the ultimatum makes her think about her actions and the effect on everyone else – especially the children.”

And Ashley suddenly wants them to renew their wedding vows…
“Laurel didn’t see that coming! And she’s horrified when he suggests it. But she doesn’t know he’s actually testing her because he’s already suspicious of her and Marlon.”

Marlon books a hotel room and asks her to meet him there. Does she?
“Part of her just wants to go there and be there with him. But the other part of her is in absolute turmoil.”

We know she goes there. What does she tell Ashley?
“She starts to write him a letter, but when he comes home early she throws away the letter and pretends she’s meeting a friend who’s having problems with her husband. As soon as she says that Ashley knows she’s going to see Marlon, but she doesn’t realise this. It’s heartbreaking for everyone involved.”

How does she feel when she sees Marlon at the hotel?
“She feels excited and alive. He takes her in his arms… She wants to sleep with him, but she knows she shouldn’t. Then reality hits. The practicalities of leaving Ashley, losing Gabby and having to leave the village hit her like a sledgehammer. She decides she must go home. She’s in love with Marlon, but what do you do?”

What does she tell Ashley when she gets home?
“She tells him her ‘friend’ has decided to stay with her husband as it’s the right thing to do and that’s a turning point for Ashley. He knows she’s in love with Marlon and would have gone off with him if it wasn’t for the kids. Laurel hasn’t slept with Marlon, but it’s an emotional betrayal and it eats away at Ashley. He becomes very controlling of Laurel.”