Doug Marland planned to give Ellen more interesting things to do, after David died. Unfortunately Marland passed away before he got around to it. There was a budding romance with Ralph Mitchell (who had returned), just at the end of Marland's run, but the next set of writers dropped it.
I just rewatched episode 211 and still can't figure out the fling between Clark and Stephanie. She was emotional lacking any interested from Eric and i think she really fall for Clark. At first i tought he was using her to get job at Forrester but she told him that she does not have that impact on Eric and can not help him, still he offers her a no strings attached relaltionship? Was he falling for her or what? Can not be only the hope that she can get him a job, when she obviously can't