Hollyoaks’ Claire Cooper tells Soaplife it’s romance on then off when Rhys says the ‘L’ word…

Why have Jacqui and Rhys been taking their relationship so slowly?
“I don’t think she’s in a hurry to have a relationship. After what happened with Des she just wants a bit of fun.”

And what about Rhys?
“Well, he did offer her his spare room after she moved out of the McQueens’ and promised no funny business, which was actually very nice. But when Jacqui starts going on dates with Brendan and his rich mate Danny, Rhys isn’t happy.”

Is he jealous?
“He is, but he’s also genuinely worried about her. He tries to warn her not to mess with Brendan, but she’s convinced she can handle things.”

How does she feel when he does finally make it clear he would like to take things further?
“For a moment, clearly the same as he does because they end up in bed together. But it seems to mean more to him than to her.”

Why? What happens?
“He makes his move just as Jacqui is about to go on a date with Danny. As she gets ready, Rhys lays a table with candles, Cava and chips and lays it on the line how he feels about her… And Jacqui gives in. They end up snogging, then they end up in bed.”

Then she still goes on the date, why?
“During their clinch, Rhys tells Jacqui that he loves her and it freaks her out a bit.”

Does Rhys regret saying it?
“Jacqui tries to broach the subject later, but they end up talking at cross purposes and agree the whole thing is best forgotten. Jacqui offers to move out, but they end up agreeing it’s not necessary, that they’re just friends.”

And are they just friends?
“Er, no. Truth is by that stage Jacqui was quite liking the idea of him loving her.

So is there any future for her and Rhys?
“I think the attraction between them will keep simmering, and I think Jacqui will be the one to make the move next time…”