03/19/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT
Let's see: Two unattached and highly attractive former costars grab dinner at an L.A. hot spot, hit a pre-Oscars party together and are even spotted holding hands. All the makings of a budding Hollywood romance, right? Not quite. Heather Locklear
and Jack Wagner "have been friends since Melrose Place
," says a Wagner pal, referring to the '90s prime-time soap in which the pair played lovers who ended up marrying. "There's definitely no change in their relationship. They [just] went out with a bunch of her friends."
They have more in common than they used to, though. Locklear, 45, is seeking a divorce from Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, with whom she has a 9-year-old daughter, Ava. Wagner, 47, is a single parent of two sons, Peter, 16, and Harrison, 12, having divorced his wife, Kristina, in 2006. After her breakup with Sambora last February, Locklear seemed to have found romance with David Spade—she was photographed vacationing in Honolulu with the comedian last December—yet, a source says, "David saw her through some really sad times, but they were never more than friends."
Perhaps Wagner (who currently plays a sea captain on daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful
) is following suit—at least when it comes to platonic PDA with Locklear. According to an onlooker who spotted the actors sharing some crispy-noodle prawns at Mr. Chow on March 1, "they were holding hands and really focused on each other." Those who know Heather say entwined fingers do not a relationship make. "She holds her friends' hands all the time," says a pal. "Men, women—it doesn't mean anything."
But if their relationship does heat up, Wagner's already got the green light from Locklear's friend, who ticks off a list of the singer-actor's sexy traits. "He's super funny, charming, considerate and a little irreverent," she says. "I don't think anyone would be sad if [something more] happened."