The exes get into it in PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek at Thursday's episode
A weekend getaway has tempers flaring on Southern Charm.
After losing in a ping pong match, the 43-year-old Average Expectations author believes his ex is egging him on by congratulating the winner of the game right in front of him.
“Don’t f--- with me, Taylor,” he warns.
“I’m not, Shep,” replies the sales rep, 29.
He insists, “Don’t do it,” to which Taylor calls him out, saying, “The way that you’re acting towards me right now is very, like, jealous and controlling.”
“What? You enjoyed the fact that I lost and then you rubbed it in my face,” Shep hits back at his ex, whom he dated from 2020 to 2022.
“I didn’t enjoy the fact,” Taylor defends herself. “I was congratulating somebody for winning a game.”
As things get increasingly heated between the exes, Austen Kroll encourages Shep to calm down, reminding him, “It’s ping pong, dude. It’s ping pong.” (Austen's instinct to jump to Taylor's defense surely didn't help to pacify Shep, given his barely suppressed resentment toward Austen for a bro code-breaking hookup with Taylor.)
“Yeah, you’re god d--- right, Taylor,” Shep shoots back. “And you f--- with me. Do you enjoy it? Do you like poking the bear?”
But Taylor gets the last word, pointedly asking Shep, “Do you like cheating on me?”
Season 9 of the hit Bravo series marks the first time Taylor and Shep reunited on screen since their breakup in July 2022.
Taylor spoke to PEOPLE about the mix of emotions that she experienced when she saw her ex for the first time — an encounter that included her yelling at Shep’s best friend Craig Conover for not revealing Shep's alleged infidelity.
“That was the first time we saw each other in a while — it had probably been a couple months — and obviously I found out some things in the interim and it was pretty upsetting,” she said. “I wanted to go in there just calm, cool and collected, and maybe sad for him, but my emotions got the best of me.”
The drama has been steadily ratcheting ups since Shep learned that Austen confirmed Taylor kissed him shortly after their breakup.
The TropHop beer founder, 36, chalked up the kiss to “poor judgment” and claimed it had been a “moment in a time of just, like, so much confusion for both of us” when Austen himself had been “weak.”
Shep struggled to believe his longtime buddy's story, asking, “How does a kiss just end in a kiss? I just don’t see it? Where’s the boundary? That’s my question.”
For her part, Taylor admitted she felt “like a piece of s---” for following Austen's lead and lying for months about the kiss, but when she also not only refused to apologize to Shep but also rehashed his past infidelity.
Reminding Shep that they were no longer together when the kiss happened, she said that she and Austen were just “two single people that were in a very vulnerable position.”
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Southern Charm airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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