Emmerdale businesswoman Charity Sharma is left hiding a scandalous secret of her own next week as she sleeps with Home Farm boss Declan Macey.
With her marriage to Jai in crisis due to his hidden turmoil over baby Archie, Charity decides that it's time to focus her attentions elsewhere and starts flirting with Declan (Jason Merrells) to secure a business deal.
Charity's pursuit goes further than she ever expected when Declan responds to her advances, but will she regret it?
Here, Emma Atkins - who plays Charity - reveals why her cunning character is drawn to Declan.
How is Charity feeling now that Jai has been away from the village for a while?
"To begin with, Charity was in a state of shock that Jai wanted to leave in the first place, when their marriage was in such turmoil. She was quite annoyed and miffed with the situation at that point! Jai has been away for a few weeks now, so Charity has also built up a little sense of rejection in her head.
"But Charity probably knows deep down that they need the space. Jai is behaving so strangely, so she thinks that maybe he needs to get away and sort his head out. She's being remarkably understanding, but then she doesn't really have a choice, because Jai is acting so peculiar."
Have Charity and Jai been in touch?
"There have been messages and texts, but with Charity being Charity, she's playing hard to get and she has distanced herself from Jai. She knows he'll be returning soon, and I think she's feeling quite nervous about that.
"When you're not in touch with someone, you can have a separation anxiety. Charity is wondering what their future holds and she misses him. She hates to admit that, but she has admitted to Rishi that she really needs to see Jai now and find out what the state of their relationship is."
Does Charity regret telling Jai that she wouldn't wait for him?
"I think that's just part of the games that Charity plays. The grass is always greener, and she likes to play silly little games. Deep down she's missing Jai, but she won't admit that to him. She's hoping that he will come back and shed some light on why he's been behaving so strangely."
Why does Charity start approaching Declan?
"Seeing as Jai has been away for a little while and Charity has distanced herself from that relationship, she feels that she could perhaps pursue something else. In her mind, perhaps her marriage is over. While Jai is not around, there is not a relationship functioning. She feels that doing the odd bit of flirting with Declan is harmless and acceptable, plus it's part of her business venture.
"Charity feels this is within her rights, even though it's absolutely outrageous behaviour. She and Debbie are in cahoots and they're determined to get Declan on board for some business venture. Debbie is actually encouraging that part of Charity. Charity was quite a soft character for a while, but I think she's definitely hardening again!"
Is there chemistry between Charity and Declan from the outset?
"I think there always has been chemistry between Charity and Declan. They're both shrewd businesspeople and I think there's an attraction there, which fuels the fire for both of them. Declan knows Charity's game, but he enjoys playing along with it for a bit."
How does Declan react when he finds out that Charity is mainly flirting with him to secure the deal?
"He's not remotely gobsmacked! He knows that Charity always has a game plan, there's always something up her sleeve. She may seem innocent on the surface, but there's always an agenda with Charity. The agenda this time is to secure a business venture for the next music festival."
Do they have a big argument?
"Yes, they have an argument at the pub, with lots of mutual insults! Declan gives as good as he gets. Declan says, 'Well, I thought your marriage was over, hence why you're flirting with me'. She says, 'Don't flatter yourself' and brings Katie not being able to have children into it. There's a lot of personal remarks being made."
What happens when they next see each other at Home Farm?
"Declan calls Charity to apologise, thinking that she'll be at home licking her wounds, but she's actually outside Home Farm and walks in on his phone call to her! She's interested in how Declan is going to make it up to her.
"There's clearly a frisson between them, and they once again enter into another argument. They're just very fiery and winding each other up, and there's a lot of sexual tension. They share a kiss and end up sleeping together - it's very lusty."
What happens after they've slept together?
"Reality hits and they think, 'Oh dear!' Declan happens to be Jai's best friend, he also happens to be married to Katie, and it's such a tangled web. Now we all have dirty little secrets, not just Jai!
"Also, the phone goes and Declan decides not to answer it, but it's Robbie saying that Katie is on her way back. So that's the tension building for the audience - she walks into the house, but will she catch them together?"
How is Charity feeling in the aftermath of her encounter with Declan?
"I think she's trying to deflect it as something that's not too much of a big deal. But deep down she knows that Jai has been away and he can't ever find out. I think she's realising what's at stake and what she will lose.
"For the majority of the time, Charity and Jai have had quite a successful marriage, they've loved each other and enjoyed each other's company. She also has financial stability, which is what she's always sought, but now it's hanging in the balance."
Would Charity sleep with Declan again?
"It was a one-off, I would say. Unless I'm very much mistaken! You never know what the writers will do - they might see something and go back for more. But at the moment, I think it'd be too dangerous to do more. She knows that she shouldn't meddle at the moment."
As Emma, who do you think Charity is better suited to - Jai or Declan?
"Jai, because there's a gentleness there, which deep down Charity does seek. She pretends that she's hard-faced, but deep down there's a soft mushy interior. I think Jai can bring out that softer side, which is what Charity needs, whereas I don't think Declan would do that."
Given that she's now misbehaved herself, do you think Charity would be more forgiving towards Jai if she discovered his secret?
"No, I think with Charity it's double standards. A one-night stand is a one-night stand, but a one-night stand plus a baby is a whole different ball game. I think Charity would actually decide that she was thoroughly innocent if she knew the facts with Jai."
So how will she react to the baby secret? It has to come out at some point!
"I've thought about that a lot, and I can't decide if it would be like an explosion going off, or whether it would just be a total shock for Charity. It's gone on under her nose without her knowing for so long, and Jai has effectively been leading a double life. She's even gone to Rachel for advice over Jai's strange behaviour! With the embarrassment that will fall on Charity's shoulders, I can't imagine how she's going to react. I think she'll go into shock, but then there'll be World War Three!
"I hope viewers are looking forward to it and I can't wait to play it. In the meantime, I think the writers are going to keep this story running, and let the audience see that Jai can keep a secret to this level and to this degree."
Is Charity still as fun to play as ever?
"Yeah, I don't think I would have played her for this long if she wasn't fun! I enjoy her reacting to different characters. She's so horrible to Edna, but then she can be really nice to her. She's extremely volatile, but when she's with her family, she's fiercely loyal and supportive. However, she can also be extremely disloyal. She's a real contradiction!"
> Read the latest 'Emmerdale' spoilers and news
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.
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