Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris are reportedly headed down the aisle once again — though technically they'd be hitting it for the first time, after she pulled the runaway-bride thing on him five days before their planned wedding in June 2011.
The 86-year-old and the 26-year-old are allegedly engaged again and aiming to say their vows on New Year's Eve, sources told TMZ over the weekend. Apparently time apart from Hef taught Harris to be more independent, something she thought she needed, the sources said.
The ceremony is supposed to be a small one, with close friends and family only. That's in contrast to the 300-person extravaganza that was planned last time around.
THE ENVELOPE: Awards season has arrived
Love has been in the air for a while, it seems.
"Yes @hughhefner and I are back together. Yes I am his #1 girl again. Yes we are happy. Hope that clears up any confusion! xo," Harris tweeted this past June, around the time she's rumored to have moved back into the Playboy Mansion.
Harris was playing it coy Friday on Twitter, writing, "New ring (not that kind of ring) topaz and diamond." (She sold her previous $90,000 engagement ring at auction in October 2011 for about 60% off the original price, according to Gossip Cop, so who knows if she'll get another, right?)
Last year Hef was left not only alone but also holding the bag on an "Introducing Mrs. Crystal Hefner" cover on the July issue of Playboy, which he promptly branded with a "Runaway Bride" label to cover his beloved's tracks.
Last year, the official story was that it had been a mutual decision to call things off in the nick of time. Harris told Ryan Seacrest then, "For a while I've been having second thoughts about everything. I haven't really been at peace with myself lately. I didn't think it was really fair to him," adding, "Multiple girls all around, it's not the lifestyle I wanted."
Meanwhile, Hef seemed less than sold on the "mutual" thing.
"Crystal did an interview ... to explain everything, but I still don't have a clue," Hefner said at the time via Twitter, adding, "I didn't see any of this coming, but I'm glad things went wrong before the marriage instead of after. Live & learn."
Hmm. Live and learn. But did he really?
"Crystal's parents are here for a visit. The relationship has really gotten serious. I must confess that I love the girl," Hefner tweeted last month, earning himself a "Hef ur cray" response from none other than Roseanne Barr.
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris: Wedding is off [Poll]
Crystal Harris to auction off engagement ring from Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner labels Crystal Harris 'runaway bride' on July Playboy cover
Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs and on Facebook facebook.com/ministryofgossip.
PHOTOS AND MORE:
PHOTOS: Celebrity portraits by The Times
PHOTOS: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
The Envelope: Celebs on the red carpet