Elise was the first into the living room when Aaron opened the door, exposing his wife, the Centerpiece to the rest of the party.

In one sense, this was a rather muted presentation. Rather than an elaborate bondage setup, a feature of some of the previous play parties, Aaron and Erin had opted for something simple. Erin was blindfolded and bound, but only lightly: her wrists bound with cuffs, and her collar bound to those. That, and the blindfold and gag The rest of the mink was exposed, letting her sleek and soft brown fur stand as its own testament — and, judging from the “In Fur” portion of the cum counter poster, an open target. Any further bondage gear remained in the tote next to the mattress, and she was sure that some of it would be added by the end of the night.

Elise rather preferred the setup, if she was honest with herself. Overt and complex bondage had its place, to be sure, but not in a play party. It worked better as a show-piece to be admired rather than a Centerpiece to be used. There had been some grand setups (including one suspension rig, which she no longer allowed during the parties). She was pleased to see no spreader bar, given the position the mink had been left in; that would mean fewer bruised shins and more possibilities for sexual positions.

She completed a quick circuit of the scene, surveying the quality and safety of the setup as well as the willingness of the Centerpiece — there was little observation needed there, though: the whole room fairly reeked of aroused mink. As a ferret, the musteline scent tickled something deep within her and made her smile widen. Erin was a wonderful choice for the role.

The other participants had been milling about as well, taking in the sights, but all of them waited for Elise’s nod of approval before approaching any closer.

She nodded.

Although the guests were at various states of arousal, or even willingness to interact with the Centerpiece, whether through preference or some other hidden reason, it was customary for the Centerpiece to receive the first sensual and sexual attention of the night from all attending.

Some folks tugged teasingly in the collar, others stroked their fingers feather-light through fur, and still others cooed soft words of praise, humiliation, or degradation into the mink’s pinned-back ears. At least one finger, that of a fox Elise considered snide, if beautiful, poked through the ring gag and dipped into Erin’s muzzle.

Elise could imagine growled words about soft tongues coming from the fox later that night.

And she stood above it all. She was hostess. She was hostess in name and in reality — Joan not as much — and she wore that title proudly and visibly.

Of the twenty or so attendees, Joan was the last to move toward the Centerpiece, spurred on by a squeeze of the paw by her wife.

Slowly, the party’s participants settled into a routine — there were few new folks this time around, and no one Elise didn’t trust — either wandering off in twos or threes to other rooms or settling around the Centerpiece. A few moments later and Elise and Aaron were the only two left standing.

“Thank you again for having us,” Aaron said. “And for the chance for Erin. We’ve really been looking forward to it.”

Elise grinned, “Of course, sweetie. She performed — is performing beautifully”

The crowd surrounding Erin had diminished to only a handful of individuals, seemingly having formed a lazy queue to play with the new toy one or two at a time. That fox had, of course, made his way to the mink’s gagged muzzle, seeking the best way to put it to use through trial and error. Elise didn’t think any knot would fit past that ring gag.

“She’ll be fine, you know,” Elise said gently. “Erin, I mean. This is a good crowd. If you’re worried, though, I can keep an eye on her if you want to go play.”

Aaron hesitated, tail swishing about erratically until he seemed to realize what he was doing and curled it around to hold onto the tip. Curious behavior for a cat, but Elise supposed that it was a deeply ingrained habit. “I, ah,” he began, clearing his throat. “I was actually sort of hoping to spend some time with you, Elise.”

The ferret straightened up and perked her ears. She chuckled and brushed a paw lightly along Aaron’s upper arm, “Me? How come? That’s the first time you’ve mentioned.”

“I, er, it’s been on my mind for a while now, the last few parties. I’ve just been hesitant to ask.” He swallowed visibly, “And you’re right, this is a good crowd, and I do trust them. I just usually do things with Erin as a couple. This…I mean, this is our chance to do some stuff separately.”

“And now that she’s stuck where she is, well taken care of,” Elise nodded over to where the fox was making use of the mink’s muzzle while a male cat filling her from the other end and the cat’s wife whispered into the Centerpiece’s ear. “You feel comfortable enough to come on to me?”

Aaron smiled bashfully, one of his fingers slowly circling the very tip of the tail held in his paw. “I feel a little awkward when you put it that way,” he admitted. “But it’s not untrue. I just…I just mean you’re really beautiful. I’d like to serve you, if I may…”

Elise raised an eyebrow and gave the cat an appraising look, admiring the play of tan and brown in his fur. “Aaron, hmm? The dommy beast who was leading his minkytoy around by a leash not one hour ago?” she teased.

“I’m more of a top than Erin, but far less than you, I think.”

The ferret laughed, easy and earnestly, “That you likely are, kitty.”

Another bashful smile from Aaron.

“Well, come. I’ll find something for you to do. I’m more limited than I let on, but yes, you may serve me.”

Elise reached out and took Aaron’s free paw, letting the other hold onto the tail. Such a curious, childish habit, that was. The change from the haughty dom feline to the kitten she was leading through the door to the den, and from there to the master bedroom (a privilege of being hostess) was intriguing, cute.

The master bedroom was furnished to Elise and Joan’s specifications, with little belying their positions as organizers of one of the town’s most sought-after play parties, and one of the only bondage-centric ones. A simple, comfortable bed, fitting no more than two comfortably, a low and long pine dresser with an older TV on top. Earth tones were the dominant color: sandy, muted, calm.

The only concession to the couple’s BDSM lifestyle was a hint of a four-point strap peeking out from between the mattress and box spring, and a large cushion on the floor next to the bed. Elise liked her room clean, and Joan followed her lead.

Leading Aaron into the room, the ferret nudged the door mostly shut behind her with a foot, leaving it open enough to let others know they could interrupt if need be and she could hear her name if called. She nudged Aaron in front of her and, before he could turn around, reached a paw up to gather the cat’s scruff in her fingers, holding firmly.

“Kitten will give his mistress rubs, yes? His job is to make her feel good.”

Aaron gave a soft mewl, seemingly unable to form much in the way of words, nodding instead.

Elise growled pleasantly, as close to a purr as she could, and tightened her grip on Aaron’s scruff, blunt claws pressing through fur and in against the tender skin beneath, testing for any low pain tolerances in her new toy. The mewl returned, higher pitched this time, as the cat sagged in her grasp, breath catching in his throat. Cats are so easy, she thought, and grinned.

“Come on, then, kitty. Come sit by mistress’s bed and she’ll let you rub and nuzzle on her.”

Another faint nod.

Elise’s grin widened and she half-dragged Aaron over to the cushion, deliberately placed by the edge of the bed, and dropped him neatly onto it, letting the cat crumple to his paws and knees. Taking her time, she walked a slow circle around the cat, eventually sitting primly on the edge of the bed.

Aaron tentatively reached out a paw toward Elise, who stopped him short with a sharp intake of breath between equally sharp teeth. “Not yet, kitten. Some instructions first. Use your paws only until I tell you, and then you may rub with your muzzle. And only on me, kitten mustn’t touch himself at all, either. You’re not wearing a collar — I’ve no desire to collar you anyway — so I won’t have that control, but–” She straightened her leg out and gave him a push in the chest with her footpaw, then slipped it up over his shoulder to hook her ankle around the back of his neck, giving a small tug. “This ought to be enough, don’t you think?”

The ferret watched Aaron nod, watched the way his body tensed and his tail gave an erratic swish, watched the way his arousal stood erect. Words, directions, commands, and only the most deliberate touches seemed to be affecting him strongly.

This served Elise well.

She let him sit and stew over the commands for a while before grinning and murmuring, “Good. Good kitty. Now, mistress’s poor paws are sore, there’s always so much to do before these parties, so much running around. You may start by rubbing those.”

The cat reached up tentatively once more and, finding himself free to do so, began to gently stroke along the soft-furred tops of Elise’s footpaws, thumbs tracing more firmly along the pads on the underside. Once he seemed to settle into a purr and a rhythm, Elise leaned back onto the heels of her palms, letting her shoulders hunch up, watching down along her front as her kitten did as he was told.

“Mmn, there we go, good kitten,” she purred. “You make such a nice pet, even if only temporarily. Nice soft paws, nice quiet purrs. Obedient kitten, speaks only when spoken too, doesn’t he?”

Laying his ears back, Aaron nodded.

“Mmhm, and he’ll do what he’s told, won’t he?” The soft stream of commands and debasement continued, Elise exerting pressure on her sub. “Both paws on one foot now. Knead.”

The cat obeyed immediately, bringing both paws to bear on the ferret’s right foot, fingers holding it steady as his thumbs rubbed and kneaded against the leathery pawpads, pressing in against them. Elise lifted her left foot and let it rest over Aaron’s shoulder: the most useful footrest.

“Kitten’s quite good at this, isn’t he?”

Aaron nodded.

“Does kitten like paws?”

He nodded once more, looking flustered.

“How much does he like them?”

Aaron gave a low whine under his breath, squirming and rubbing a little more eagerly.

“Ahhh, yes, good kittens only speak when permitted.” Elise’s grin turned cruel. “Maybe I should just leave him mute for the rest of the evening, hmm?”

Tail lashing from side to side, Aaron gave a third, tense nod.

“Alright, then. Mistress could use a quiet pet like yourself.” She could see the way the words, the constant demeaning way she called him a kitten, were working on him. Not just his erection, which certainly showed that eagerness, but also with the quickened breathing, agitated swishing, and tense, jerky movements.

“Although,” Elise murmured, tilting her head and shifting to a thoughtful tone. “Perhaps kitten should add his muzzle to the mix. Just some nuzzling, in against the toes, if you will.”

Paws shifting down toward the ferret’s ankle, Aaron nodded, leaning in to bury his velvety nose in against those soft pawpads, nuzzling in against them as instructed.

“Mmhm, like that.” Time to start questing for more interests and testing for boundaries. Despite having a clean house and having showered just before the party, she added, “Mistress has been on her feet so much today, walking here, running there, inside and out. Probably a touch dirty. Kitten would help her clean those paws, don’t you think?”

The response was hesitant — not a promising sign — and feather light: soft, raspy licks that only just grazed the hide on the underside of her paws.

Too far, perhaps. There probably should have been more negotiation than there was. There never seemed to be enough time.

She provided Aaron the out, giving an exaggerated, ticklish squirm and tugged her foot back road away from his blunt muzzle. “Rrf! Sensitive. Sorry kitten. You can nuzzle up higher on her leg, though, while you keep up those delightful rubs of yours.”

Aaron did a good job or not letting his relief show, but it was there. Never quite enough time for negotiation, Elise thought.

The cat shifted and lowered Elise’s leg enough to lean over it and brush his nose through the short, soft fur of his mistress’ calf and shin.

Elise softened her smile and gave a slight nod of recognition and approval. She carefully lifted her left leg off of Aaron’s shoulder, nudging it into the cat’s paws. Once he shift his rubbing to that paw, she moved her right leg to rest over his shoulder as before. The cat kept up his soft nuzzling against her right calf, purring adding a buzzing sensation .

“What a wonderful little kitty pet I’ve found,” Elise murmured, letting her eyes drift closed in earnest pleasure at those rubs. “Does kitten like rubbing mistress’s paws like that? He may speak.”

Aaron nodded eagerly, rubbing his cheek in against her calf. “K…kitten does. Kitten wants to do more for his mistress,” he said, sounding embarrassed. “Kitten…would like to worship his mistress, if that’s okay, to pleasure her and taste her…”

Elise froze, suddenly quite aware of the way Aaron’s gaze travelled up along her leg, seeking and searching toward her crotch. She could smell his arousal, see his nose questing for scents of hers. And she felt the urge to withdraw inside herself that came with a boundary being tested.

“No, that would not be okay,” she murmured, keeping her voice calm, pleasant, dominant.

Aaron’s ears perked then lay flat against his head, the cat giving an abashed nod. “May I step back from this for a second, Elise?”

The ferret nodded gratefully, slipping her foot from his and her paw from his shoulder. She crossed her legs and sat up, a bit stiff, prim. “Of course, sweetie.”

Aaron shifted as well, moving to a cross-legged sitting position and curling his tail around into his lap, evidently quite self-conscious of his arousal. Staring at some point past Elise’s feet, he hesitated a moment before beginning, “I think I overstepped, there, and I’d like to understand why before we continue.”

Elise flexed her footpaws and toes, still buzzing with the sensation of the cat’s rubs and nuzzles. “So did I, when it came to licking.” She held up a paw to forestall the responses she could see welling up inside Aaron, “Which I’m just mentioning to make sure we talk about that as well.”

The cat nodded and settled back, still avoiding eye contact.

“I don’t…ah, do sex. It’s not something that I’m comfortable with. I don’t run these parties for myself to get off, don’t play around at them.” She smiled wryly, “Don’t play around outside of them, either. I don’t run these parties for me, I run them because I see way too much unsafe shit going on in BDSM, and they’re intended to be a guaranteed safe place. That’s why I run them; that and Joan. She needs an outlet.”

Aaron tilted his head, but otherwise stayed quiet.

“I can dom, for sure. And I love it, too. It gives me a thrill, just not a sexual one. We should’ve gone over that before, is all. That and what we each wanted out of this. I think we know that. I guessed on the paws thing,” she said, at which Aaron began to fiddle with his tail-tip once more. “But overstepped a bit there, and I didn’t say anything about this because I’m usually just all stone dom at these parties anyway, and don’t let others touch me.”

She shrugged, “I like you, though, you and your toy. I trust you, and figured I’d let you in.”

At the last sentence, Aaron pinned his ears back against his skull, “Again, I’m sorry if I overstepped mist–Elise…”

The ferret laughed and shook her head, reaching out with a footpaw and giving Aaron another gentle nudge, “I heard that! And no, don’t worry about it, I’m serious, I trust you. We just didn’t go over boundaries, is all.”

Aaron grinned faintly and nodded, “Alright, I-”

Soft footsteps and the creak of the door alerted the pair to Joan’s presence, the other, shorter ferret peeking her head around the doorjamb. She grinned and slipped into the room, murmuring, “Not surprised to find you both here. The Centerpiece is performing beautifully, everyone’s playing nice. Just wondering where you got off to, dear.”

Beckoning her wife over to them with a pat on the mattress next to her, Elise grinned and nodded, “We were just discussing the finer points of paws. Aaron says he likes rubbing them, I say I like having them rubbed.” When Joan was a few steps away from the bed, Elise surprised even herself by speaking up in a more commanding tone of voice, “Not here, pet. Down there, on the cushion, with kitten.”

While Joan moved immediately to obey, Aaron was a little slower to pick up on the dominant tone markers, but eventually shifted his body to the side, leaving enough room for Joan who knelt tidily on the cushion beside him. Those paws went right for his tail-tip again, thumb twirling around the very tip.

Comfortably back in stone dom mode, the ferret grinned, lacing her fingers together and resting her paws atop her knee, crossed above the other one. “Now, we don’t have to continue, kitten, and you have all the freedom to head back to the party if you’d like, but if you’d still like to please me,” she said, lofty. “You can please pet, here. Does that sound like something kitty would like?”

Aaron, already apparently wrong-footed by the order for Joan to sit next to him, sat and stared at Elise. The ferret grinned back toothily, her tail flicking from one side of where she sat on the bed the bed to the other, then shifted her gaze to Joan, “Does that sound alright to you, pet? Having a kitten tend to you?”

Joan nodded quickly and said, “If he’s good enough to rub your paws, I’m sure he could work wonders on mine. There are other ways to tend to a ferret, as well.” She leaned over traced her blunt muzzle along Aaron’s jawline up to the base of his ear, giving a low growl to the cat.

Elise’s grin widened.

“Ah, I…” Aaron stammered for a moment before continuing, “So long as mis–erf, so long as Elise doesn’t feel left out…”

Elise reached a footpaw out once more, this time to lazily trace one toe’s claw through the cat’s short fur from thigh to knee. “You may still call me mistress, kitten, but you ought to call Joan that, too. Kitten’s at the bottom of the hierarchy here.” That sharp claw continued to trace short, slow lines over Aaron’s knee, “And no, I won’t feel left out. Kitten tending to pet, and me directing and controlling. And you’re sure you’re okay with it, kitten? I haven’t heard anything definitive.”

Aaron seemed to clutch all the tighter at his tail, squirming in place between the couple. Elise had watched the cat’s erection flag and arousal dissipate when they’d stopped to discuss boundaries, but it was back now, and looking quite intense. “Oh, very okay with it,” he nodded vigorously. “This…I, well, I’d dreamed of this, but thought I’d, or I’d, well. Rambling. Sorry mistress. Mistresses.”

Laughing, Elise stood, circling partway around the cushion on the floor, two sets of adoring eyes on her. She’d let her pet and the kitten play, but she had a bit more fun to get out of the power differential, a bit further to nudge Aaron into the realm of submissive.

Once she’d made her way around behind the cat, she slipped a paw down and gathered up a good portion of his scruff in her fingers, squeezing it until she got a mewl out of him before lifting. Aaron stumbled to his feet awkwardly, muscles struggling to obey him with the grip on his scruff encouraging him to go limp.

Elise held him there, half standing on his own, half dangling from his scruff, and unable to talk. “Are you sure, pet? Think this kitten could please you?” She took a step back around Aaron, letting the cat turn slightly in her paw as if to show him off to Joan, presenting him to her.

Picking up on her wife’s plans, Joan leaned back onto one paw and gave the cat an appraising look, from those ears tilted back and those wide eyes, down over his form, covered in short tan fur, to his erection, standing stiffly from his front and bobbing to his pulse, to that tail giving an occasional jerky swish.

“Mm, I suppose he’ll do, mistress.”

Elise leaned in closer to Aaron and sneered, “I suppose you’ll do, indeed, kitten.”

Another soft mewl was all the cat could manage, but Elise could sense his breathing picking up, smell his need filling the room.

“Where would you like him, then, pet?”

Joan gave an aloof, almost careless shrug and scooted herself to the edge of the cushion, “Oh, just anywhere.”

“Sure thing.” Elise was half tempted to just drop Aaron again, but given how shaky he was this time, she lowered him more carefully to a heap on the cushion.

She felt herself smiling earnestly, now, no forced expression. This was her element, and from the looks, sounds, and smells of it, it was Aaron’s element, too. She wasn’t terribly surprised that one who had done so well at degrading the Centerpiece would be so receptive to it as well — she’d known he was a switch, of course, so that was just a big arrow pointing to what it was he liked.

“Now,” she continued. “First thing kitten will do is to tend to pet’s paws, just like he did with mine.”

Aaron’s movements were jerky, nerves still all ajangle from being scruffed, but managed to get himself onto his knees and elbows. Elise watched him crawl shakily toward Joan, who offered one of her footpaws. His own paws began to work once more, fingers brushing along the top of the ferret’s paws while thumbs kneaded at the pads, nose shyly brushing along toes.

“Ohh…” Joan tilted her head back, eyes half closing. “You’re right, mistress, he is good.”

Elise returned to her seat on the edge of the mattress, swinging her legs up onto the bed this time and leaning over to rest on her elbow. “Mmhm, very good,” she murmured. “Kitten will take good care of pet, won’t he? Pet has much, much more to offer to him than mistress does.”

She heard a sharp intake of breath from the cat, and grinned. The bumpy start had been worth it. Now she had a pliant kitten and a pet willing to be a mistress for him alongside her. Everyone in their place, everyone enjoying themselves — enjoying themselves quite a bit, judging by the scent of Joan’s arousal joining that of Aaron’s.

“Kitten will make sure to rub both paws, correct?”

“Yes, mistresses.” Aaron’s voice was muffled, still nuzzling against that paw.

“Good.” She grinned, “If kitten does well, He’ll be able to move on to tastier treats.”