by Garden Variety

(Third story in the "Robbery" series).

Cast of Characters

Gerry – A bloodthirsty, cruel Mistress and professional robber not without finer feelings about Brenda

Brenda [also known as Bren] – Her lesbian lover, helper and crime-partner, a bit softer, not-much, article

Isabella – Bank manager and hostage, slightly-chunky blonde beauty, led to help, or not, at various times

Rita–Captured slave-slut voluptuous sympathetic becomes sexy since being sold to topless-waitress joint

Louie -Gangster nightclub-owner fence and slaver who needs new topless waitresses: He’s willing to pay

Guard, Detective, Mallory, Sergeant, Tall Matron, Louie’s Lawyer, Dumpy Matron - all small-part players

The story so far: Our mean, greedy, lesbian couple improve, or not, by enslaving rather than killing?

Story codes: F/F, M/F, breast, BDSM, abduction, slavery, electro-play, nipple, face-slapping

Chapter 1 Abduction

Isabella walks out of her bank holding a slip of paper guaranteeing that forty thousand dollars - along with their fee - has been wire-transferred to the armored-truck company. The truck is running, out by the curb, and the Guard, his hand on his sidearm in case, warily gets out of the passenger side and accepts the paper, which he initials, tears part off and gives this slip to Isabella, the bank manager.

The truck pulls away but before Isabella, a well-built blonde, can walk back to the bank door, Gerry and Brenda [bank bandits who held her hostage previously] pull up in a stolen car and Gerry points the sawn-off at her from under a coat over arm, saying:

“Get in back: Now, Bella!”

The blonde bank-manager Bella says, “The shipment’s inside our bank, already…”

“We’re not after your dough, this time. Get in!” When she is in the back seat, Gerry dives in after her, yelling “Let’s go, Baby!” which Brenda, driving, does with good speed but no screeching or shambling.

“You’re the shipment we want, Bella.”

Showing name-tag, on jacket, by leaning her full chest forward, “I’m going by my full name, Isabella.”

“Oh,” Gerry reaches as though to examine name-tag, instead grabs Isabella’s nipple through her shirt and bra, pinches and twists: Next, gives closer nipple, same cruel treatment. Holds, pinched-tight.

“Owww!” Isabella reaches up, and tries with little success, to dislodge torturing thumbs.

Gerry says, “Pull to the curb, Bren.”

When stopped, Isabella says, “I didn’t mean to resist, Gerry.”

Gerry slaps Isabella’s face, hard, twice each way! “Bam! Bam! …Bam! Bam!” “Put out your hands.”

Isabella, tearful, with puffy, red cheeks, offers forth her wrists-together hands.

Gerry tapes her wrists together, orders her to lift her feet. She zip-ties blonde Isabella at her ankles. “You owe a punishment.”

“Brenda, you were the one most put out by this show of temperament, so you can chose what Isabella should get. … Not now. … Think of something good. We’ll stick it to her later, when we’re comfy.”

Brenda nods delightedly and drives off, heading for the rendezvous-point, only a block away, where they get Isabella out into their own car, having to cut her loose with a bit of difficulty. She fights Gerry until face-slapped, “Wap!” “Wap!”, hangs limp – almost as bad for moving her – and next they move her in, retying crying-Isabella in their own car.

At the house, the whole releasing, bringing in – once inside, ankle-shackling with balls and chains – is repeated: “We were put out two more times. – Makes three painful punishments you owe us, total.”

Sitting at table in house, Brenda says, “How about a strip, followed by suspension, waxing and whipping it all off. I haven’t seen ‘Isabella’ in the altogether in ages!”

Isabella screams “No, No, No!”

Gerry jumps her, not too hard to do, Isabella being hobbled by ankle-shackles with balls chained to each. Squashes ball-gag into her mouth roughly, taut bands interlocked around head with a nasty snap!

Isabella is trying to scream when her arms are hammerlocked behind by Gerry. Held up high by Brenda, a string attached, run up from zip-tied hands, over shoulders, around smooth, white neck, looped through her nipple-clamps’ tit-chain.

Gerry licks erect both red-aureole, bright-pink nipples and clamps. “All right, a little more tension on the hands, Brenda?” Brenda yanks Isabella’s wrists up more, toward back of her neck!



After loops tight around Isabella’s neck, a choke-hold, Gerry tautens string, lifts her hefty boob-rack by its nipples, makes tits stretch, preparing to tie off the from-hands-over-shoulder-string at her tit-chain.


Gerry asks innocently, “Oh, it’s too tight? [Letting the dug-into-neck string out toward hands, an inch.] “How’s that? Better? I have to guess, since you’re so incoherent!”

Runs the string back down from smooth, white neck to her tit-chain connecting Isabella’s nipple-clamps. Ties it so taut that Isabella’s whole rack is yanked up inches by their large, extremely-appetizing, stretched, red-aureole, pink nipples!

Isabella: “Ohhh!” This completely-unwarranted pain…pulses, radiates all through her punished body!

“Now where were we, Brenda…? I like your ideas, but that’s really only two punishments, stripping and the suspended-waxing-whipping off. Therefore, I’d add: Isabella eats both our pussies until we orgasm!

Struggling re-commences, and Gerry deftly removes the ball-gag, asking, “Yes, Slave-Slut Isabella?”

“Take these things off”, Isabella’s strange, hoarse voice growls. “I can’t breathe and my arms are breaking… And I like guys… -I’m normal, …not like you!”

Brenda softly suggests while Gerry re-gags, making bands snap at Isabella’s head, “Let’s loosen her a lot, let her get dressed, please, Mistress Gerry? After all, how can she strip for us, if she’s half-naked?”

“O.K., only for you, Little Yum-yum, …And for that favor, you’re going to be in charge of getting her to work for ‘Lefty Louie’s’.”

“Thanks ever so, Mistress.” [Gives Gerry a long, pash-kiss with boob-squeezes and mad tongue-flicks.]

Leaps loose and cautioning Isabella not to talk, Bren takes off ball-gag’s banded harness, kisses on the mouth, undoing string, clamps and their chain, which release makes Isabella quiver and shake with sizzling circulation-return, holding up a finger meaning ‘Wait’: Brenda gets a knife, cuts wrist-zip-ties.

Chapter 2 Accused

Phone rings. Gerry gets it.

With a finger to her lips, Brenda helps stiff and hurting Isabella back into her work outfit, meaningful-looking, hissing, “We’re working for a topless joint. You’re going to be a waitress. Go along with what Gerry wants for Crissake unless you want your skin in separate pieces!”

Gerry saying to unknown person on the phone: “Busy, … So long as it isn’t until two a.m., we can do it.”

Coming back to find Brenda comfortably seated on Isabella’s lap, hugging and squeezing her like a lover pitching woo.

Gerry [closing eyes to ignore horror] says, “That was Rita… She’s so heavy-dated, it scares her: Asks if we’ll come by …to protect her. I said we’d look in, way later.”

Brenda [flushed face, grin] gets up. “Isabella’s a terrific kisser. …Two a.m.?” I suppose that’s all right, but we aren’t paid to follow-up on these girls, for that fifteen hundred, are we?”

Gerry says “This is a special case. Louie has fallen for Rita and is going to marry her? If she’ll agree.”

Brenda says, “Holy Cats!” That guy’s really loaded… I’d almost marry him myself! I mean, … if not for you, Mistress Gerry.”

[At ‘Lefty Louie’s]

Rita, a very-buxom topless-waitress, shaking her marvels, promises the three guys who are ready to leave: she’ll be good for going to their place later and giving them ‘French’ and a B.J., each. For at least two hundred and twenty-five: Neither allowed here. Anything goes, after closing.

Rita makes hundreds in tips each night and a small salary, augmented by half the fifty-dollars-per-lap-dance fee, often four per night. With those, the girl isn’t to do any hands-on-, or mouth-on -work: The guy can’t reach out and grab, either.

‘Tonight will be a biggie, with a total of eight hundred and twenty-five. I managed ‘The Cloddy Shop’ boutique for only fifty thou a year, and thought I was doing great.’

The only problem here is that, of the ten guys who proposed – equally divided between drunks, gamblers, and doctors… – Only Louie is richer than she is…”I’ll think about it.” Rita told Louie.

‘After all, he’s short, only my same height, and greasy: Speaks with a noticeable Italian-accent, especially when excited. Probably has a record. I never went for those bad-boys: Always college men and professionals… In fact, I never knew a high-school-dropout could get rich! I hope having Gerry and Brenda around, will help tonight: Three guys could easily overpower, do anything, pay nothing, kill me!’

[At The Three Guys’]

Rita kisses Gerry and Brenda each on red lips and says, “It was O.K.: I’m glad you were here, anyhow.”

Gerry says, “I haven’t thought of how you’re going to pay us back.…You inspire us, doesn’t she, Brenda?”

Brenda: [Feels Rita tremble since she’s hanging onto, squeezing her.] “Aw, you’re scaring Rita, Gerry…”

Soon after getting back home, while Isabella ‘dances’ – really only swaying to stripper-music, demonstrating gorgeous, full breasts, a light-brown bush: Grabbed, being suspended, the ends from Isabella’s rope-bra [needing to be made smaller - from Rita?] pulled down to her pussy and back up, tied the trapeze bar, her hands untied and tied-behind her: Waxed, Gerry paints the hotter, red wax on her whole tits, Brenda splashes the less-hot but still bad yellow wax on her nipples, asshole and pussy –

‘I’m dying’ – Isabella thinks, especially afterwards, when fifty light-floggings remove the wax, - “Thwack!” - more soldering-ironing remnants to get off the small bits off her cracks. Very cruel: “Don’t peel that! …No, no, no…Aieeee!” ten times. ‘Pain zinging my every pore! …Can I make it less intense, by concentrating on pleasing my tormentors? …Forced to eat, without biting, both Gerry’s and Brenda’s pussies. I hate these…homo-sex-acts! -This stinks! -Oh God, I’m proud to bring them off: Worst of all!’

‘I only know I know little’, thinks Isabella, ‘…Compared to the macho lust and hair-trigger orgasm, men have, pleasing women is an anatomy-study: What makes me come -not thrusting- rubbing the outside...

If I suck Gerry’s clit hard, it might be quicker? If I press hard on Brenda’s clit, she’ll orgasm? Whole-pussy-sucked-really-hard-into-my-mouth, helps? Ye gads, do I taste like that? …Is her G-spot reachable? Stretch my tongue-tip maximally, turn it upwards, dig it in as much as I can? …Difficult operation. …It works! Now to repeat everything over again...’

They come: “Argghh!” “Argghh!” It takes about forever, with the lesbians working on Isabella’s face – neck – tits – pussy – thighs, moving on her and taking turns, until Isabella orgasms stirringly: “Argghh!”

The phone rings and since it’s four a.m., Gerry already knows it’s not good news: It’s Louie.

Rita is in jail and accused of stealing a grand from the three guys!

Chapter 3 Jailed

Louie says “I got-uh a lawyer, but it’s-uh no good! Rita’s held without bail, and had nine hundred. Which to the cops is-uh too much, not to be a thief! Not understand: Rita makes-uh hundreds every night, and a lot better than usual last night?”

[At Cop Shop]

Louie [holding pages of white paper out] to Lawyer: “Can this be so?”

The three guys explain in their statements: Once Gerry and Brenda saw they were non-threatening and helped Rita collect two hundred and twenty-five dollars in advance, which Gerry took out and locked away in their car, the two lesbians did a naked sex-act, both orgasmed in sixty-nine, ‘to excite the men’.

Next, each of the guys at seventy-five bucks a pop, screwed Rita’s 38-D boobs as she sucked them off on each up-stroke -…At the end catching the spurts and getting herself three messy facials! For a bonus she gives each a hand-job to half-erect and deep-throats them all!

…They all manage to come a little again, which Rita swallowed, licked her lips, cleaned their tools, by long-licking lengths and pushing up with palms of her hands to pump out the last little drop from the hole which she expertly tongue-tip-hooked.

Lawyer says, “I’m sorry, Don Louis, but it’s on the record as three similar legal statements, so it’s official. …And how about Gerry and Brenda’s idea of bodyguarding? You were engaged to Rita? …It’s broken? ”

As the gritted-teeth images of the three guys’ coming, their spurts, Rita’s white-blonde mane sprizzled while she waves her head, trying to catch squirts, her skewered 38Ds. Seeing naked-Gerry’s, -Brenda’s satiated glazed post-orgasmic faces, lolling on partner’s fair-haired pussies, float by, [shaken] Louie says: “I ain’t engaged to Rita, if I was, it’s broken… into a thousand pieces! I’m sick at this… story. I knew she’s-uh loose, but not so very loose. Gerry and Brenda are useful …monsters. You can go home. Thanks. I don’t need your help no more.”

Lawyer says in parting, “The three guys won’t press charges, want their grand back, they say they paid her for the action: The cops are holding Rita uncharged as a ‘Material Witness’ for seventy-two hours, their words for sweating it out of a suspect… Chances are – All Don Louis need do is wait for three days.”

Louie shakes hands and the legal-eagle goes, but Louie thinks, ‘You don’t know, if my Rita’s gone for three days, when the weekend’s coming up, means thousands of dollars’ missing-income from my Club!’

[At Gerry-and-Brenda’s House]

Gerry says to locked-clamped-at-tits-and-pussy-and-transpondered-Isabella, as Brenda arduously yanks up the corset-top zipped over mighty boobs, next pushes in at tits and waist, locks upper-zipper ring, while Gerry pulls in the strings and ties it off in the back, pressing her wireless-box “Very-Low” button:

Isabella [screaming]: “Aieeeee!” As shocks bite her in all her most-sensitive spots: Tits, pussy, asshole.

Gerry says, “You won’t do the waitressing, huh? You remember this electric game, you’ll take these two boxes and do as we say or else! There’s six higher settings on my remote!” [Pointing out settings.]

“Oh, no, please, I’ll do whatever you want, don’t burn me, my tits, my pussy, you don’t know, it’s bad…”

“Shut up before you get gagged: Now Brenda, you through there?” The helper is putting the balls and chains back on Isabella’s ankles, while the padlocked-black-plastic-corseted, yellow-haired bank manager jerks a bit, as though she is being continuously stung by a horde of invisible bees…

[Gerry’s holding down legs to help Brenda.] “Don’t care if you do make seventy-five a year at that bank” –though this is much more than Gerry thought Isabella made – “You’ll double that at Lefty Louie’s club!”

Gerry knows Rita will make more than one-fifty grand this year, but would Isabella? Isabella’s hair is yellow-blonde, not white, which is a real Rita-novelty and - lovely as Isabella’s tits are - large, perfectly round, red aureoles with bright-pink nipples: Isabella’s aren’t quite as huge as red-nipple Rita’s. …After all, Gerry and Brenda targeted Rita as a potential topless-waitress: Rita’s face, hair and body are perfect. …While hostage-Isabella’s looks are accidental: Didn’t have to look great as a bank-manager.

Brenda hands Isabella the two small boxes, each open to show that inside: There’s two more, black and white squares, about each the size of a duck egg.

“These are bombs, but there’s no real danger until you attach the clock, press the start button on top of the black clock and detonator-part. On the side of each black part, there’s a wax protective-strip you remove to stick the black, detonator-clock part to the white bomb-part. Same thing here, when both parts are locked together, you take off this other wax-paper adhesive-protector, on the white bomb box, which is right now protected by this wax strip. That’s the ‘Start’ button. You don’t press it until you’re ready! First you have two parts connected and stuck the whole thing on the steps or wall or wherever. Got all that? It’s really pretty simple, hold on to those, and don’t do anything, but what Gerry says: You’ll be all right!”

Gerry says, “After pressing your ‘Start’-buttons, you’ll have two minutes to get away before they blow.” [Turns off her remote, to Isabella’s great relief, stops the ferocious chewing on her tender places!] “It ought to be plenty…”

“Did you get all of Brenda’s spiel? She went to our bomb-specialist’s training.”

Isabella says, “I understand. But, what do you intend to blow up? Another bank? I’m worried…”

“Put this on her, Brenda.” [A domino-mask.]

“And here’s another red wig, a bit more auburn than ours. Perhaps that’s why we didn’t go for it. It’s too-large on you: We are both about seven, and seven-and-an-eighth: You must be only about six-and-three-quarters?”

[At the Cop Shop]

Gerry in death-seat suggests, pointing: ”Go around the back and park on that side-street, Brenda.”

“O.K., Isabella, take those, you can remove the wax strips here and connect the clocks to the bombs, in both cases: Stick one on the Police-Station front steps, start your clock. Go around that corner near here, stand close to the wall, wait about a minute: Stick and start the other one on that window near the ground-the middle one-that’s Rita’s cell. After the second bomb goes off, help Rita out, back to car.”

Isabella, shivering and not from the cold, removes all four of the wax seals and sticks both black-boxes to the white-boxes, with their adhesives bare, but facing up so they won’t adhere to either sides or bases of outer cardboard boxes. ‘I’m being forced to do this…I don’t want to…’ Work distracts shocks?

Gerry says, “That’s why I’m giving you an incentive.” [Turning on her remote up to ‘Low’] – “When you return bringing Rita into our car, I’ll turn you off!”

Isabella squirms, gives a short yelp, “Ow!” ‘My body in revolt, stampeding sparks coursing up-down me.’

Gerry slaps her face hard twice, “No noise, you idiotic Slut!” “…I ought to give you ‘Medium’ for that!”

Brenda in driver’s seat says “No, please, Mistress Gerry, she has to be able to think to do the bombing…”

Gerry says, “Now get going - at six, the cops have shift-change - right now they’re at their lowest ebb…”

Chapter 4 Jailbreak

Navy-blue-uniformed, tall matron to shorter, dumpy policewoman, both looking in Rita’s cell window, shorter one having to tip-toe: “That’s the best set of tits I’ve ever seen: She’s going to be here for three days. Should get her in that time. Did you hear those guys’ statements?”

“They got their money’s worth, and then some… Do you think she’s a thief?”

Navy-uniformed Tall Matron: “How could she be? She’d have had to have at least a grand, plus the two hundred and some, on her, and she had only eight-nine hundred? …Girlie, our boys don’t think she did it either. What I figure…They want to worm information about Louie’s operation out of her.”

“But why’d those three guys accuse her?”

Tall woman: “I’d guess they had second thoughts? …That they’d spent like, four hundred bucks on dinner and a good time? …Perhaps they needed to get it back. …Saw she had a bundle on her…”

Explosion rocks the front of the Station, and the two policewomen quit Rita’s cell door, rushing frontwards, holding down sticks hanging from belts, so they don’t bump their fat legs.

They go through heavy-cellblock-exit. Smoke, brick-dust and cops shouting is all they can see. Sergeant, who was approaching the door from inside to go out for a smoke or use his phone, blown back inside: Has a few cuts from broken glass, is shook up, and being helped up off the floor:

“Sarge, you might get retired on disability, you play your cards right.” Quips a detective, who with a uniformed cop is helping lift him.

The three cops rush to the doorway. “Steps blown away, but not much other damage. Want to try going out and checking?” The detective and the other two pull their guns and slowly, carefully open the broken doors, which trickle glass shards.

“Going to need new lamps.” Says the Sergeant, wiping his blood-specked face with a large white hanky. Places gun back in holster.

Sarge: [Turning back around] “I’m manning the desk, have to call in the cars.”

The front door closes: Immediately, in the rear, the cells explode earth-shatteringly, while the two matrons arrive from the back through a heavy-looking, clanking door. Billows of airborne brick-dust accompany them out of back-area. Looking guilty, policewomen turn around, and start to rush back toward the rear area. Door slams closed before they get back to it.

“You gals came out at the wrong time.” Says the Sergeant, as one matron keys the very-heavy iron door, he helps them pull door open, allowing in more swirling dust, smoke and brick particles.

The uniformed cop leaves the detective at the front door and quickly slips through iron door to the cells. “Going to be the hero, [cough] …Mallory?” Asks the Sergeant, with a throat-clearing cough.

Meanwhile, Rita, dressed in ruined orange, is being helped out of the destroyed-window by Isabella.

The detective gets there only to see Brenda and Gerry’s car speeding away, with gray cloud exuding from the cell marring his view. Comically Mallory climbs out cell-window-wreck aims gun at detective who aims back.

Chapter 5 Renovations

“Brenda, take off your mask!”

“Thank you, Mistress!”

“You too, Slut-Isabella!” [Turns off her remote.] Glances back and says to locked-clamped-and-corseted Isabella, now relieved of constant shocking, “Happy now?

“…Rita it’s great to see you… Boy that orange is awful on you!”

Rita unzips and smiles, moving in a tiny, side-to-side shifting, jumpsuit slipping down over her shoulders: Baring her mammoth, red-tipped bosom. Wiggles and jiggles exciting melons, zanily. “Is this better?”

Gerry says: “Uh-huh, hide those things before they go off!” [Erratic car movements toss all of them from one side to the other.] “Don’t you see Brenda can’t drive? …And as to Isabella, Rita, … I’d say you ought to introduce yourself… She’s your brave rescuer!”

[Rita reluctantly replaces heavy tits, zips up.]

The two blondes in the back seat look each other over.

They shake hands. Rita asks, “You like going about in only a corset, Isabella? Isn’t it too cold for that? Not that it doesn’t look kinky and wild, …it does! I work at a joint where that’d be very, very popular!”

“How much can I make in that place, Rita, do you think?” While up front, the two lesbians trade winks.

“It really depends most on what you’ve got in that corset, Isabella-Baby, and what you’re willing to do…”

[At Gerry and Brenda’s House]

Isabella asks Gerry if it would be all right if Brenda removes her locks, corset and clamps and she agrees, handing helper keys, “But afterwards, Bren’s going to have to shackle-chain balls back on your ankles…’

“Because…” Gerry says, with an evil smile.

Brenda kisses and licks while unlocking Isabella’s corset, undoes her tit-and-pussy clamps with transponder-electrodes for the wireless-torturing: Those stung all over so outrageously-bad while Isabella forced herself to think how to bomb.

Brenda - happily making Isabella’s red aureoles harden, and pink tips erect - is being rewarded for defending her in the car, when Gerry threatened to turn up the remote more: Being girls, they know the score. …Nobody need explain.

Rita [sensationally naked] says, “I’m for the shower now that that awful jumpsuit’s off. Don’t you hate ‘em? I had to get naked every time I had a bowel movement, excuse me, went to the bathroom, in the jail. …And two dykes, excuse me some more, watched me through my cell window the whole time…”

Isabella asks, “Can I shower with Rita?”

Gerry says, “That’s between you two, but O.K. with us…” Looks significantly at gleeful Brenda.

Rita: “C’mon, I’ll hold one of your cannonballs for you Honey if you can walk downstairs side-by-side.”

Isabella: “It’s sort of like getting married, isn’t it?” [Wobbles a little.] “…Will this work?”

Rita: “Yep! …And your boobs are almost as big and good-looking as mine…You have a great waist, too! What are you, 22 inches?”

Isabella says, “Twenty-three. I don’t even diet, it’s good genes, I guess.” [At shower door] “Can we both fit in here?”

“Sure thing, and I’ll help. …I’m a straight girl. …Not like our friends upstairs, although they did try to change me. I kind of think it was a way to make me do what they wanted…Which I did do finally.”

Isabella, soaping, says: “Me too, I mean” [rubbing slightly-shorter and fatter white-blonde’s back] “–I’m straight. …And they tried to convert me, too, but as a sort of mistreatment, like you say…You have a terrific round bottom. …And practically no belly at all! Excuse me, I couldn’t help touching you there.” Washes Rita’s large butt and white-bushed, fat pussy more than necessary?

Rita says, “Waitressing has been good for removing the excess I had there, and lap-dances involve so much bending and squatting, it’s like at least two whole, buttocks-and-thighs, aerobic-workouts a day!”

Isabella says, “I feel better if it’s good for me. I’m worried I won’t get the hang of balancing...”

Rita, while washing Isabella’s boobs, butt, pussy: “I find it’s all the same, love, you know, I’m clear on it.”

Isabella says, “Not me, but if I went to work at that club, would I learn everything like you know soon…?”

[At the Cop Shop]

Louie meets with the detective and the Sergeant: “If my cousins, ‘Louis Masonry and Construction,’ do your work, I’ll pay for the lamps, doors, steps and the wall. All I ask is, first, Rita is off free and clear.”

Detective: “There aren’t any charges against Rita…”

Louie says, “And second, I need that iron-bar window-grill, supplied… We don’t have those bars…”

Sergeant: “I got cut in that first blast…I want to be paid for that.”

Louis: “How about a hundred and fifty for your trouble?”

Sergeant: “Make it two hundred. A hundred and fifty don’t buy much these days. You can re-use the same, barred window-frame. It blew out whole, so it isn’t warped or wrecked.”

Detective: “So it’s a deal. …When they going to start work?”

Louie: [Taking out the two hundred cash and paying Sarge.] “You know these contractors, sometime next week, if we’re lucky.”

The End

Copyright© 2015 by Garden Variety. All rights reserved.