Belle Dingle (played by Eden Taylor-Draper) only returned to Emmerdale just before Christmas – finally beginning to heal after a harrowing experience with her ex-boyfriend Lachlan (Thomas Atkinson).
Yet just as soon as she arrived back in the Yorkshire Dales after some much-needed time with her mother Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox), strange things started to occur on the ITV soap.
For one thing, Christmas Day should have been a happy affair as the entire Dingle clan celebrated Marlon (Mark Charnock) and his new wife Jessie Grant’s (Sandra Marvin) nuptials.
But when Belle, Lydia (Karen Blick) and Sam Dingle (James Hooton) return home from the festivities, they come back to a ransacked Wishing Well cottage.
The group are confused by the scenes in front of them, but Belle seems even more perturbed by what’s taken place.
Even when the police are called to the cottage, Belle appears to be hiding something, which left viewers wondering if the burglar was actually Lachlan having escaped from prison.
Since that night, the villagers haven’t received any news of the murderer’s escape, so theories now abound over whether Lachlan is working with someone on the outside.
If that’s the case, the former brewery-owner could be hell-bent on tormenting his ex for giving up on him and helping to get him put away for life.
The creepy storyline continues to simmer as Belle received a mystery text during her New Year’s Eve party at the local cafe.
The message simply wished Belle well for the new year, but at the end it signed off by saying “I miss you”.
Belle didn’t seem surprised by the text, leading some to believe she had already predicted Lachlan was using someone on the outside to rattle her.
Now a source at the Metro has claimed Belle is set to get involved with her ex-boyfriend’s latest plot over the next few weeks – with Lachlan eventually coming back to the village.
The insider said: “Belle doesn’t believe Lachlan’s act of repentance for one minute.
“But how far is he prepared to go? And how much danger are the Dingles in?”
Whatever comes next, it’s clear viewers are in for another rollercoaster ride – could Lachlan’s aunt Rebecca White (Emily Head) even be returning to the village?
Elsewhere on the soap, Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) has been determined to keep his secret about Joe Tate (Ned Porteous) for fear of destroying his relationship with his daughter Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb).
“Cain has been living with this guilt – but there’s only so much a man who thinks he murdered the man his daughter loves can take,” the insider continued. “As Debbie still refuses to give up on finding out what happened to Joe, Cain is backed into a corner.
“But as Debbie learns the awful truth – or what Cain thinks is the truth – it could destroy their relationship forever.
“It will be very messy, but the scenes will be unmissable,” the source added.