First, there were those straight-off-the-cover-of-a-romance-novel shots of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart kissing and nuzzling against a romantic Italian backdrop while filming a scene for "New Moon." Then, there was their "squee!"-inciting tease of an almost lip-lock at Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards.
Now, the rumor mill is spinning into "Twilight" overload with another round of speculation about a possible off-screen love connection.
Seems the prepossessing co-stars, who have repeatedly downplayed the togetherness talk, were feeling peckish after sweeping the Movie Awards and decided to grab a late-night bite (bad bloodsucker pun, but we're leaving it) at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. But the New York Daily News is convinced there was more than just noshing going on, claiming they "held hands throughout the meal."
On the other hand, a waiter tells RadarOnline.com that although the two "seemed really close" over dinner, there was no overt flirting action.
Around 11 p.m., Rob, 23, and Kristen, 19, exited the eatery and were accompanied back to a nearby hotel under the watchful eye of their very own police escort, further proof of the popularity of the twinkling vamp and his admittedly awkward and butterfingered leading lady.
The next day around noon, X17.com spotted them exiting a "private chateau" at the hotel sporting what has been described as bedhead but for Pattinson and Stewart is probably just everyday head, because neither looks to be on speaking terms with a comb of late.
A paparazzo on the scene says the actor, who was on his way to the airport to catch a flight to New York, appeared "preoccupied with getting all of his stuff in the car," while "Kristen was hiding behind her sunglasses, looking a little tired, but waiting to say goodbye."
Then, just before Rob hopped into the SUV, he and Stewart stood behind a car door, where, the photog asserts, "I'm pretty sure there was a brief kiss!" Or possibly a high five. Or a quick game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Hey, anything is possible during a moment behind a car door.
Still, "Robert is obsessed with Kristen and has been for a while," a source maintains to the Daily News. "He likes that she's a cool, down-to-earth girl. Kristen never saw Rob as anything but a friend, but that seems to be changing."
For those keeping track, the starlet was last snapped with longtime boyfriend Michael Angarano during a piggy back ride-capped outing in Vancouver, British Columbia, in late April. She's previously dismissed talk of a Pattinson hookup, insisting it's just wishful thinking on the part of Bella- and Edward-obsessed fans.
"It doesn't make my relationship harder," she recently told USA Today. "It's not like, 'Maybe I should be with [Rob] to make them happy and it'll make me more popular! But, dude, it sucks."