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My Brother-in-law's keeper

Brother and sister-in law Liam and Carla Connor have always had a love-hate relationship, they might hate to admit it, but could this be love?

The Background:

When brothers Liam and Paul bought the Underworld factory, Paul's wife Carla wanted a piece of the action, Carla's ambition didn't always sit well with Liam, and Paul often had to referee their disputes. Now Paul's dead and Carla's inherited his majority share.

The Story:

Liam catches the eye of hairdresser Maria, who offers to cut his hair, and uses the opportunity to do some flirting. The two agree to go on a date once Liam is back from a business trip.

On his return, Liam finds Carla enjoying a prolonged chat with prospective business partner, Tony. When Liam jokes that it's more business than pleasure Carla assumes it is out of loyalty to Paul.

But as the joking turns to sniping Carla becomes annoyed. They fight about the business and then about Paul. When Carla asks Liam what her personal life has got to him he silences her with a kiss.

A passionate row ensues, with Liam insisting that his feelings are not one-sided. Carla appears on the verge of conceding, but pulls away and denies there is any attraction.

With things awkward between the Connors they turn their attentions to others. Carla turns up the flirt on Tony, while Liam steps out with Maria. With the atmosphere still tense Carla heads away on a business trip.

Meanwhile Rosie still has her eye on Liam, and Maria gets stood-up when Rosie doesn't pass on a message to Liam. On finding out, Liam puts Rosie in her place and she soon turns her attentions elsewhere.

Maria, however, is still feeling insecure over Liam. Wires get crossed again when she sees him kiss a business associate goodbye, and another date misfires when Maria arrives over-dressed for a night a pub, but the two manage to laugh it off.

After Liam gives Maria a gift of jewellery, Maria ups the ante by giving him a puppy. Liam is unsure he wants a dog, and initially the pup is nothing but trouble, but Liam warms to the idea and names him Ozzy.

When Liam heads off to Ireland to visit his mother, Carla finds herself awaiting his return, and on his return, resenting his interest in Maria.

To make matters worse, after spending the night with Tony, she is met by a slap in the face by an angry woman.

Tony's ex warns Carla to back off and says he's a lying womaniser. When Carla confronts Tony he manages to talk his way out of it; and when Liam voices his concern, Carla tells him to butt-out.

Things are getting complicated

After seeming preoccupied at the salon, Maria confides to Audrey that she is pregnant. Fearing his reaction, Maria tells Liam she's pregnant. He's shocked but supportive and tells her not to worry. Doubting Liam's feelings Maria soon tells him that she wants an abortion.

Suspicious of Tony, Liam goes through his PDA and finds his home address. Tony asks Liam if he has an issue with him seeing Carla and Liam denies it. A visit to Tony's house fails to satisfy Liam's concerns. He finds Tony's ex Lindsay but is unsure whether to trust her bitter account.

When he tells Carla of his concerns she's annoyed at his interference. Liam claims he's worried about the business, and Carla tells him to worry about his own relationship. Liam promptly heads to the salon and proposes to Maria.

Carla turns down a night out with Tony and goes to talk to Liam. She's hurt by his news but hides her feelings and decides to head out with Tony after-all.

Carla feigns happiness when she hears about the baby, meanwhile Maria's brother Kirk gets protective and asks Liam what his intentions are.

Liam asks a delighted Maria to move in with him.

Carla reveals the pregnancy news to the factory girls, much to Liam and Maria's horror.

Liam's reluctance to do business with Tony continues. When Tony wants to take Carla out but she's minding the factory, Tony tells the girls to go home and covers the losses from his own pocket. Liam's displeasure may be more about jealousy than business. Tony again usurps Liam; putting on the supplies for Underworld's Christmas bash.

At Liz's hen's night Carla lets it slip to Maria that she has kissed Liam. Liam reassures Maria it was a one-off, but says that Carla came on to him. When Liam confronts Carla she plays innocent, saying that she didn't realise that the kiss meant anything.

Liam gives Maria a Christmas Day engagement ring.

Holiday disaster

With Carla and Tony planning an exotic Liam and Maria plan their own mini-break. Liam's visions of heading overseas are quashed when Maria wants to take Ozzy with them. Instead they opt for the Lake District. Carla continues to cast a shadow over the couple even on holiday. Her calls mocking their Lake District location are not appreciated by Maria.

A romantic walk ends in disaster as Ozzy slips off while the pair are canoodling. They find him stranded on a ledge in a gorge, but as Liam tries to recover his pet he slips and falls.

As Liam lies lifeless Maria frantically goes for help. Eventually a rescue helicopter winces him out. As Maria arrives at the hospital the nurse tells her that in his half-conscious state that he has been asking for her. Maria is relieved until the nurse refers to her as Carla!

As Liam recovers Maria confides in Michelle who urges her to confront him about Carla. Instead she asks Liam to bring the wedding date forward. Meanwhile Tony is getting irritated by Carla's extreme concern for Liam.

Maria fobs off Carla but when Carla catches her in a bridal shop the pair have a flaming row. As Carla learns about the wedding date she turns up the pressure, bringing Liam his favourite casserole.

With Liam laid up inside the two women declare war on the doorstep.

The story continues...