Pregnant by a boyfriend she doesn’t really love with a baby she really doesn’t want and desperately trying to prove herself at a company that may or may not be using her to scam Walford. Things aren’t necessarily going all that well for EastEnders Lauren Branning.
She’s also locked in a feud with her little sister, who’s always been jealous of Lauren and is especially feeling it at the moment.
With Abi working two part-time jobs to make ends meet, no sign of romance in the air and generally not in a happy place with her life, she hates that her sister seems to have it all.
In Abi’s eyes, Lauren’s got everything – an amazing job, long-term boyfriend and baby.
Most recently, Abi turned up at Lauren’s place to discuss her 21st birthday and interrupted Lauren, Josh and Steven having a very cosy meal.
Abi immediately hijacked the event, flirted with Josh shamelessly and even got him to walk her home. But in a show of un-sisterly behaviour, Lauren failed to tell Abi she had ink all over her face and down her top.
With the sisters sniping at each other, Lauren’s tired and wants to put a stop to it, so she extends an olive branch to Abi – but Abs isn’t at all keen to accept it.
While a defeated Lauren heads off to the office, Abi starts meddling with Lauren’s boyfriend Steven Beale, suggesting Lauren could be up to all sorts when she says she’s at work.
Abi continues to up the ante in her bid to get one over on Lauren and turns up at the office dressed to the nines, pretending she wants to have lunch with her dad and sister.
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But when Josh later reveals Abi’s invited him to her 21st, it’s clear why the youngest Branning sister really came to the big city.
Lauren tries to hide her jealousy, but she doesn’t do a very good job, and Max, who’s working with her and Josh on a new project and has already clocked their closeness, realises straight away that Lauren and Josh’s relationship is not strictly business.
Giving her the third degree, Max is pretty blunt when he asks Lauren if she’s been seeing Josh behind Steven’s back.
Lauren insists nothing’s going on, but then Max drops a huge bombshell on her. What does he have to say? Are family relations ever going to get back on track?
It cuts both ways though, and Max isn’t the only one getting suspicious as it’s not long before Lauren notices something odd going on when she goes out to photograph a property with him.
Is she about to find out about his scheme?
With the Branning family seemingly more fractured than ever, suspicions riding high and no one trusting anyone else, can Lauren ever repair her ties with her clan?
Or is she going to be left well and truly out in the cold when it, inevitably, all comes crashing down around her?