Kiss the Girls

Prologue

PERFECT CRIMES

Casanova

Boca Raton, Florida, June 1975

FOR THREE weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.

He could hear the whispery Atlantic surf outside, but he was never tempted to look out at the ocean or the private white-sand beach that stretched to three hundred feet or more along the shore. There was too much to explore, to study, to accomplish, from his hiding place inside the dazzling Mediterranean-revival-style house in Boca. His pulse hadn’t stopped hammering for days.

Four people lived in the huge house: Michael and Hannah Pierce and their two daughters. The killer spied on the family in the most intimate ways, and at their most intimate moments. He loved all the little things about the Pierces, especially Hannah’s delicate seashell collection and the fun fleet of teak sailboats that hung from the ceiling in one of the guest rooms.

He watched the elder daughter, Coty, day and night. She attended St. Andrews High School with him. She was stunning. No girl in school was as beautiful or as smart as Coty. He was also keeping his eye on Karrie Pierce. She was only thirteen, but already a budding fox.

Although he was more than six feet tall, he easily fit into the air-conditioning ducts of the house. He was wire thin and hadn’t started to fill out yet. The killer was handsome in an Eastern preppy way.

Stashed in his hiding place were a handful of dirty novels, highly erotic books he had found during fevered shopping trips to Miami. He had become addicted to The Story of O, School Girls in Paris, and Voluptuous Initiations. He also kept a Smith and Wesson revolver in the walls with him.

He went in and out of the house through a casement window in the celler that had a broken latch. Sometimes he even slept down there, behind an old, gently purring Westinghouse refrigerator, where the Pierces kept extra beer and soda pop for their gala parties, which often ended with a bonfire on the beach.

Truth be told, he was feeling a little extra weird that night in June, but nothing to worry about. No problems.

Earlier in the evening, he had handpainted his body in bright streaks and splashes of cherry red, orange, and cadmium yellow. He was a warrior; a hunter.

He huddled with his chrome-plated .22-caliber revolver, flashlight, and grope-books in the ceiling over Coty’s bedroom. Right on top of her, so to speak.

Tonight was the night of nights. The beginning of everything that really mattered in his life.

He settled in and began to reread favorite passages from School Girls in Paris. His pocket flashlight cast a dim light on the pages. The book was definitely a major turn-on, but also a big yuk. It was about a “respectable” French lawyer who paid a buxom headmistress to let him spend nights inside a hotsy-totsy boarding school for girls. The story was filled with the hokiest language: “his silver-tipped ferrule,” “his faithless truncheon,” “he gamahuched the ever-willing schoolgirls.”

After a while he got tired of reading, and peeked at his wristwatch. It was time now, almost 3:00 A.M. His hands were shaking as he put the book aside and peered through the cross-hatching of the grill.

He could barely catch his breath as he watched Coty in bed. The very real adventure was now before him. Just as he had imagined it.

He savored a thought: My real life is about to begin. Am I really going to do this? Yes, I am! …

He was definitely living in the walls of the Pierce beach house. Soon that nightmarish, eerie fact would dominate