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EastEnders SPOILER: Lauren Branning flees Walford after dumping Steven

Lauren makes shock decision in next week's episode

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It’s a storyline that’s been brewing for a while as we’ve watched Lauren flirting with her boss Josh and in limbo about her feelings for Steven. But finally it seems she is going to make a decision about her relationship.

Although she regularly confesses her admiration for him, we all know that she isn’t in love with Steven anymore and has become bored with him.

No matter how hard he tries, Steven can’t keep hold of girlfriend Lauren (Credit: BBC)

So she makes a shocking decision – she announces she wants to get back with her ex-boyfriend Peter Beale who is in New Zealand. Well that’s a turn of events!

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For several months now we’ve seen Lauren playing with fire as she continually risked her relationship by flirting with – and kissing – her boss.

Steven has known for a while that something is up and has had stern words with Josh, who seems not to care that he is encroaching on another man’s woman, and continues seeing Lauren behind Steven’s back.

In a recent shock episode things got heated at Abi’s 21st birthday party as she flirted with Josh, kissed him, and then got into an argument with Steven which, er, ended with them having sex in the kitchen of Beales’ restaurant. Romantic huh?

Lauren confides her feelings to her dad (Credit: BBC)

Abi is clearly delighted that she has got one over on her sister as they have been at loggerheads lately, and Abi is jealous of Steven’s love for Lauren.

Meanwhile, Lauren has realised that her flirting with Josh must stop once and for all and that they will never be together. But does she really mean that?

She seeks support from her dad Max, revealing how unhappy she is with her boyfriend and that she wants to get back with Peter Beale, who is the biological father of her son.

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Abi, determined to break up Steven and Lauren for good, then pressures him to choose between her and her sister. Steven unsurprisingly chooses her sister, but isn’t yet aware of Lauren’s plans to leave him.

It’s only then that Abi learns of her sister’s plans to break up with Steven, and she makes a suggestion to her which sees her decide to go back to New Zealand.

All of the family are on Lauren’s side apart from her scheming sister Abi (Credit: BBC)

When Lauren tells her family she’s off they all seem to be supportive of her decision. Sadly, she’s not bothered to tell Steven, who suddenly panics when he can’t trace her on his stalking device.

In the episode – which airs on Friday July 14 – he races over to Jack’s house to see if she’s there.

She isn’t. And he faces a race against time to see her – and try to put a stop to her plans to emigrate…