Since I don't have a bunch of advice, I thought I'd share an excerpt of DAYBREAK, the second book in the Disruptor trilogy. It's an unedited work in progress, rough and subject to change, but I like this scene and I like it as an opening for the book. Here goes:
Disruptor stepped off the roof and dropped three stories to the street below. She grabbed the assailant by the shoulders, turned him around, and punched him twice in rapid succession. The bones of his nose gave way under her fist. She tossed him like a rag doll against the façade of the boarded up building and frisked him while he moaned in pain. Her search yielded two folding knives. She tucked them into her boot then jerked him around to face her.
He was a kid, the lower end of high school age. She batted his hands away from his broken nose and activated the camera in her left eye to snap a photo of him. “I know what you look like. I catch you trying to hurt someone again, I’m going to make your life a living hell.”
“I wasn’t gonna hurt her,” the kid whined. “Just scare her some and take her money.”
The would-be victim stepped up and slapped the kid upside the head. “You little bastard. I work hard for my money and you think you can just steal it?” The woman looked at Disruptor. “You should beat him some more. So’s he gets the point, you know?”
The temptation to do exactly that hovered so close, Disruptor could taste it like strong perfume in the air. But it was a cloying sweetness, covering up the stench of rot underneath. She’d interrupted this crime fast enough that the woman hadn’t been hurt, plus the mugger was just a boy. He now had a broken nose for his trouble. Maybe he’d remember that the next time he got it in his head to do something like this, and he’d stay home and watch TV instead. Or maybe not, and she’d catch him out again some night. She didn’t want to hurt him any worse than she had to, so tonight, she was willing to let him go home and nurse only a broken nose.
Disruptor removed his hands from his face again and thumped his broken nose, hard. The kid cried out, swearing. She grabbed him by the front of his shirt and shoved him toward the west end of the street, where a few blocks down lights and life beckoned. “Run on home now. Don’t do crap like this again, or I’ll let everyone know you got beat up by a girl.”
The kid stumbled and fell to his knees. “Bitch!”
That earned him a boot to the ass. “Go before I change my mind.”
He scrambled to his feet and fled.
The woman cackled, waving a hand in front of her face. “Did you smell that? I think the kid pissed his pants.”
Disruptor nodded. “Definitely gonna be a night to remember for him.”
“You do have a pretty wicked reputation,” the woman said. “You’re that Cabrini Ghost, right?”
“Disruptor,” she corrected mildly. “I didn’t like being called a ghost.”
“Well, whatever you call yourself, whatever anybody else calls you, you saved my rent money tonight. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Be careful getting home.”
“I will.” The woman gestured indistinctly at the dark stretch of street. “You be careful out here.” She hurried on her way.
Disruptor shadowed her until she reached a well-lit area, just in case the kid was stupid enough to try again so soon. Once the woman ducked into an apartment building, Disruptor found an empty alley and took out her phone. Nothing serious on either hashtag yet, the #CabriniGhost one or the one just days old that she and two others were trying to spread the word about online. Her Disruptor account on Twitter still mostly got spam replies. It would take time for people to become aware of the name she’d chosen for herself, but it would happen. She was still out there, doing her best to help people who might not find help otherwise. Unlike the first time she’d done it just a few short months ago, now she responded to screams for help without hesitation or regret.
A gunshot sounded from three blocks over, followed by a scream. She stashed her phone and ran toward trouble.
Several hours and three fights later – or was it four? – she rode the private elevator up to Kevin Moynihan’s penthouse apartment. The public knew him as a wastrel playboy billionaire, but to her he was a friend, someone whose life she’d saved who now helped her, and her sidekick.
Not to mention an object of lust when she caught him in moments like this. He came to the door shirtless, every dip and valley of muscle on scintillating display. He’d traded his contacts for glasses and damn if the nerdy look didn’t suit him just fine. His electric blue eyes weren’t dimmed in the slightest by the lenses. His dark blond hair was disheveled and had a few streaks of paint through it, shades of blue and orange. More paint dotted and slashed here and there across his creamy honey-tinged skin. They’d had sex together once, and it really shouldn’t happen again, because they were friends and she wasn’t looking for more. Likely wasn’t capable of more. But seeing him all shirtless and messy did funny things to her insides. After a hard night out fighting bad guys, the idea of shoving him against a wall and working off a little tension appealed. Greatly.
Kevin wrinkled his nose. “You smell terrible.”
The words acted like a blast of cold water on her libido. She took her mask off and stepped into the apartment. “I wound up in a dumpster.”
“Long story.” Dumb story, and kind of embarrassing. Being told she stank was embarrassment enough for one night. “I’m gonna take a shower.”
“Yeah, me too.” He idly rubbed a thumb across his left pectoral, spreading a slash of still wet turquoise paint. “I’m a mess.” The twinkle in his eyes told her he knew exactly what kind of effect he was having on her.
Too late. She wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of flirting with him, not after he complained about how she smelled. “Good night.” She climbed the stairs slowly, knowing her Kevlar reinforced jeans made her ass look fantastic. He made a frustrated noise and she grinned. Let him look. Teach him to call her smelly.