They were one of Hollywood's golden couples for the better part of seven years. And now America's sweethearts Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have renewed hopes of a reunion, after the actor's surprise appearance at Jen's star-studded 50th birthday party led to whispers of a heartfelt tribute and a stolen kiss between the pair!
While fans have been banging the reunion drum since the former couple both changed their statuses to single, the clamour got a little bit louder when Brad was spotted sneaking into Hollywood's swanky Sunset Tower Hotel for the bash.
"Brad knew it would cause a stir if he showed up, and he wasn't sure if he should take the risk – but in the end he just went for it," an insider tells NW.
"He hung out with Leo [DiCaprio] and mostly kept to himself. A lot of people were shocked to see him [turn up], but Jen was over the moon. She sent him an invitation, but didn't know if he would accept it, so she was delighted when he walked in."
However, Brad didn't keep to himself for the entire night. In fact, sources say he took the opportunity to make a heartfelt toast to his one-time wife.
"Apparently, Brad and Jen were chatting with some of their mutual friends when he explained that he'd like to say a few words," spills the source. "He's totally off the booze, but he raised his glass of water told her that she meant a lot to him and always would.
"Jen was totally taken aback and really touched," continues the spy. "She looked as though she might cry because it was such a sweet gesture."
While Jen has stayed in contact with Brad following their difficult separation in 2005, this marks the first time the exes have been spotted together in some years.
And it seems the tender moment wasn't the only thing the pair shared on the night, with another source revealing to InTouch that the pair even stole a secret kiss. And things apparently didn't end there!
"What people don't know is that they got together after the party ended," the insider reveals. "They may have left at different times, but they met up afterwards."
Their reunion has been a long time coming. "The fact that they are both single now has taken all of the pressure off, and they feel like they can get to know each other again," shares NW's informant. "Even though they didn't work out [when they were married], Jen and Brad have always cared for each other. It makes sense that there would still be some feelings there."
NW can also reveal that since the birthday bash, where Brad mingled with guests such as Sandra Bullock and the Clooneys – as well as another former flame, Gwyneth Paltrow! – he and Jen have been exchanging text messages and having long talks on the phone.
And while the pair maintain they're nothing more than friends – with Jen insisting they "wish nothing but wonderful things for each other" – don't rule out the possibility of this turning into something more!
"The timing wasn't right for Brad and Jen before, but they're not the same people they were when they married," the insider tells.
"Right now, their relationship is the best it's been since they were together, and it's only getting stronger..."