30th August 2003
Alex gets a wake-up call when Vince asks Claire out on a date.
Handsome city farmer Vince Lavise is about to make his move on Claire McLeod… but will Alex Ryan just stand back and let him?
Vince (Peter Stefanou) has made his attraction to Claire (Lisa Chappell) clear over the past few weeks in McLeod’s Daughters.
While teaching her to play golf, he stood close behind her and let his hands linger on hers – which Alex (Aaron Jeffery) couldn’t help but notice. And, of course, he has her number on speed dial.
Claire isn’t complaining. She doesn’t mind the attention at all.
“Vince awakens Claire,” Lisa says. “Ever since Peter (former lover Peter Johnson, played by Rodger Corser), she has shut down romantically as a woman, and being pregnant and everything is like she’s not got a sexy bone in her body.
“Vince wakes her up again. She goes, ‘Oh, wow, men… yeah, that’s fun! Mmm, frisson, chemistry, oh!”
Alex isn’t so keen on Vince. That is obvious at Claire’s golf lesson, when he stays and gives advice, even though Vince was there first.
“The boys start locking horns,” Lisa says. “When they realise that there is competition on the field, they start getting their dander up.
“It’s funny, because the more that Alex tries to compete with Vince, the more of a gentleman Vince looks to Claire, and the more she realises Alex is being an idiot.”
Vince checks with Alex that he’s”just mates” with Claire before he asks her out. “We’re old friends,” Alex tells him.
When Alex then complains to his brother Nick (Myles Pollard) that Vince is making a play for Claire, Nick teases him.
“Treading on your territory, eh?” he suggests to his big brother.
Alex continues to deny it. But, finally, when Vince asks Claire out in front of him – and she eagerly accepts – Alex can’t stand it anymore.
“I just don’t see what you have in common!” he explodes.
Lisa explains that Vince’s interest in Claire is a wake-up call for Alex.
“It makes Alex go,’Hang on, I’ve been treading water for a long time, but she could swim off real quick with this guy,'” she says. “It makes him pull his finger out.”
“Vince is like a catalyst for Alex to see that he really cares about Claire and doesn’t want to lose her,” Aaron adds.
But Claire has already accepted Vince’s invitation to go out. Will Alex find that he has left his run too late?
… and so does Jodi
Her crush on Nick gets more serious.
Nick Ryan has always seen Jodi Fountain as a “little sister”, but he may change his mind when she makes a pass at him!
Jodi (Rachael Carpani) has had her sights set on Nick (Myles Pollard) ever since the day he called her a “beautiful woman”.
The impulsive farmhand is known for falling head-over-heels in love – remember her marriage to Alberto (Ben Mortley) that lasted just a few minutes?
But she is a little cautious this time.
“Number one, she doesn’t know if he feels the same way,” Rachael says. “Number two, he’s a lot older than her. Number three, there’s his relationship with Tess.”
Tess McLeod (Bridie Carter) may be engaged to Dave Brewer (Brett Tucker), but Jodi is aware other history with Nick-and that they may still have feelings for each other. She has to tread carefully.
“It’s not a subject she wants to broach with Tess,” Rachael says. “They share a few common interests and a few personality traits, so they do get on more so than, say, Claire and Jodi – but they have never been in a position where both have the same interest in a man.”
Jodi turns to Becky Howard (Jessica Napier) for advice. Although she doesn’t say who she is interested in, it doesn’t take Becky long to twig – mainly because, as she points out, Jodi has been looking at Nick with her”tongue hanging out”.
Trying to help Jodi, Becky asks Tess if she would mind if someone else started dating one of her exes.
Tess insists she would be OK with it, now that she is with Dave. But she doesn’t know that it’s Jodi who has the hots for Nick – and when she does find out, she might be surprised by her reaction.
Egged on by Becky, Jodi gathers her courage and asks Nick if he’d like to go out. However, he doesn’t seem to hear the question correctly.
Later, desperate to know if she is in with a chance, she tells Nick that she “really likes” him.
Nick tells her that he “really likes” her, too… but Jodi doesn’t know how to take it.
“She knows that she takes things the wrong way,”Rachael explains.”She’s immediately quite happy and thinks, ‘Oh, wow, he does really like me,’but she thinks about it and it could just be him being a nice guy.”
Spot on, Jodi.
“Nick is naive to her true motives,” Myles says. “Jodi’s a bit of a sister, but she’s beautiful, she’s got a bubbly personality, she’s intelligent, she’s sexy, she’s got everything going for her.
“There are some unresolved things with Tess, though…”
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