Act II, Scene XI
And it seems trouble has a way of finding our poor Anna.
When all had been said and done, Tom had picked her up – completely ignoring any and all protest from her side – and had moved them to the entertainment room. He had left shortly and came back with drinks and snacks, and the same soft blanket that she had used before. When the movie started and he sat down next to her on the couch, Anna cuddled into him, pulling the blanket over them both. Resting her head softly on his shoulder, she couldn’t remember a time when she had been so comfortable. In fact, so comfortable that it didn’t take long for her eyes to flutter shut, and to drift off into sleep.
The next morning Anna woke up with a start – and several cramping muscles. Rubbing her eyes with one hand, she started to become aware of the fact that she was not in her own bed at Shelly’s place. And she was not alone. Thinking about the night before, she could only conclude that they had fallen asleep on the couch together. Truth be told, when she cracked one eye open to look at him, Anna had to admit Tom looked rather cute in his sleep. She quickly – and carefully – extracted herself from his embrace, digging into her pockets for her phone. Luckily it was Thursday, and Thursday meant no work. Or at least this week it did. However, she did quickly sent out a text to Shelly, telling her she was all right, and that she was sorry for not checking in with her any more since leaving for LA the previous day. With that out of the way, she replaced the phone in her pocket and then sighed deeply, staring back at the still sleeping man on the couch. He truly was adorable, and not only in sleep. He had been very kind to her all these months, sweet, patient. She truly could not ask for a better friend.
After fixing the blanket over him, Anna made her way into the kitchen in search of some much-needed coffee.
‘Oh hi,’ Bill said, somewhat caught of guard, as he caught sight of her. Anna noted that he was only dressed in a boxer and loose tank top, and quickly averted her eyes. ‘Did you sleep over?’
‘On the couch. And rather without meaning to,’ she added grimly. ‘Is there coffee?’
Bill pointed to a pot on the corner of the kitchen island at which he’d been seated, then returned his attention to some magazine that he was reading.
Thanking him, she moved towards one of the cupboards and grabbed one, then after a second thought, two mugs and then passed by Bill to pour the coffee. When she did, her eye fell on the article that he had been reading and the accompanying picture – and she stopped in her tracks. ‘That… That’s me.’ She stepped closer to Bill, peering over his shoulder to examine the photo in more detail. In the picture she was dressed in her smart dark blue blazer and a loose fitting grey-and-white striped pants – the same one she was still wearing today. It must have been taken when she arrived here yesterday. Luckily, it seemed the paparazzi had not been paying much attention, for they had only gotten her on camera when she had already made it to the door, and her head was turned away. Thank heavens for small mercies.
The text that accompanied it, however, was anything but mercy. “Is this the new girlfriend of Bill Kaulitz?” ‘Oh dear God…’
‘It’s just gossip, Anna,’ Bill said, turning in his seat to give her a sympathetic look. ‘It’ll blow over once they find nothing to back it up. It…-‘
‘What magazine is this?’
The name rang familiar, but not too familiar, and Anna dared to breathe again slowly. It wasn’t one of the magazines her mother read. She might not see this. Even so, and she felt slightly sick at the thought, her mother’s friends might. ‘I will be so dead if they read this.’
‘Read what?’ Tom was standing in the open arch, eyes still unfocused with sleep, as he took in the somewhat strange scene of Anna leaned over his barely clothed brother.
‘There’s a picture of me in Ok! magazine,’ Anne announced, looking awfully pained as she turned to meet his gaze. Bill might think her being on the fence about this to be solely attributable to the fact that she did not like to be in the spotlight, but it was so much more than that – and Tom knew that, too. Her fiancé had been dead for little over a year, and if this picture would be linked to her person, that would make for a very bad image.
Tom stepped further into the room, and almost automatically, Anna found her way into his arms. Softly stroking her hair, he told her it would be all right. ‘We will find a way to solve this, Anna, I promise.’